Pathway Lending Receives $300,000 Grant from Truist Charitable Fund

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pathway Lending, the largest non-depository Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Tennessee, is one of the grant recipients of the Truist Community Catalyst Initiative—a three-year program supporting local initiatives with statewide impact funded by the Truist Charitable Fund. This $300,000 grant will support the development and deployment of a client dashboard designed to help small business owners understand and improve their financial health when seeking capital.

“Pathway Lending is deeply committed to strengthening small businesses with customized coaching and a holistic approach to advising and education,” said Leslie Hayes, senior vice president of education and entrepreneurship at Pathway Lending. “Thanks to Truist’s generous support, we are rolling out innovative technology that opens new doors for small businesses, improving their ability to identify and address financial strengths and weaknesses in their credit applications to access capital.”

Support from Truist will allow Pathway Lending to build a tool that will help small businesses across the state to assess their loan readiness and streamline the borrowing process. Through this initiative, entrepreneurs can gain insight into a creditor’s viewpoints and work alongside a capital coach to enhance their financial strategies. This marks a significant transformation in how small businesses in Tennessee can access and utilize valuable insights to accelerate their business growth and access to capital.

This coaching-to-capital product and dashboard is poised to empower small businesses, fostering enhanced financial management practices and sustainable growth. In 2024, Pathway Lending aims to provide more than $24 million in loans to small businesses in Tennessee and will use this tool to reach even more entrepreneurs.

The combination of education and lending proves to be significant to small businesses as they scale. “My coaches at Pathway Lending have provided me with impactful education services and opportunities,” said Shena Allen, owner of Chattanooga-based SewPretty Designs. “Pathway Lending helped me take this idea from a hobby to a full business.”

Pathway Lending plans to launch the initial phase of this coaching to capital technology in Q2 2024, extending an invitation to small business owners across Tennessee to pilot the assessment tool to allow for streamlined capital. Interested entrepreneurs who have established businesses and business deposit accounts may connect with Pathway to be among the initial participants of the tech-enabled capital readiness tool and for the opportunity to receive a loan up to $50,000. Email [email protected] to learn more.

“Entrepreneurs and small business owners are a powerful force for economic growth, productivity and employment across Tennessee,” said Johnny Moore, Tennessee regional president for Truist. “Our partnership with Pathway Lending will help business owners better understand their finances so that they can develop and unlock new opportunities. It’s one of the ways we’re proud to put Truist’s purpose, to inspire and build better lives and communities, into action.”

This grant is one of 17 Truist-funded grants across 13 states that will create a significant impact across Truist’s primary markets, including placing over 1,000 individuals into livable wage jobs, developing or preserving 700 affordable housing units, deploying $65 million in loan capital through 500 small business and home loans and providing 3,100 low-to moderate-income individuals with new access to essential community services. Learn more about how Truist is inspiring and building better lives in the Middle Tennessee community and beyond at 

About Pathway Lending

Pathway Lending is a Nashville-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that propels economic growth in under-resourced communities. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, Pathway has generated more than $1 billion in economic impact to become a leading community-focused lender in the Southeast. Through its lending and advisory programs, Pathway has financed over 1,500 businesses, delivering more than $525 million in direct lending through its small business, affordable housing, and climate-related loan funds. These efforts have supported more than 30,000 jobs, created 2,400 affordable housing units, and generated $9.8MM in annual energy cost savings.

About the Truist Charitable Fund

The Truist Charitable Fund (“TCF”) is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives. TCF was established as a donor-advised fund and is administered by The Winston-Salem Foundation. TCF invests in local community organizations, focusing on grants that support initiatives and programs in the areas of educational equity, leadership development, career pathways, small business, and community services. To learn more about Truist’s purpose, visit

About Truist

Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Truist has leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country and offers a wide range of products and services through our retail and small business banking, commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, insurance, wealth management, and specialized lending businesses. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is a top 10 U.S. commercial bank with total assets of $535 billion as of December 31, 2023. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at