Truist Foundation Gives $450,000 Grant to JUST Community Inc. To Support Diverse Entrepreneurs Across Texas

JUST is working to close the wealth gap by investing in ambitious Texas entrepreneurs with capital, peer coaching and community
Sep 28, 2023 5:55 PM ET

AUSTIN, Texas, September 28, 2023 /3BL/ - Today, Truist Foundation announced a $450,000 grant to JUST Community Inc. (JUST), a community development financial institution (CDFI) and nonprofit focused on closing the wealth gap in Texas by investing in diverse, local entrepreneurs. JUST aims to use the grant funds to expand its support for budding business owners in Austin, Dallas and Houston, Texas by providing them with increased access to capital, peer coaching and community support.

“At Truist Foundation, we seek to promote economic mobility in the communities where we operate, including across Texas,” said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “Supporting small businesses and local entrepreneurs is critical to closing the wealth gap, and we are honored to be partnering with JUST on this journey.”

To expand its reach, JUST will use the funds to help double its JUST Entrepreneurial Trust Agent (JETA) program, which pairs entrepreneurs with a mentor to help them reach their financial goals and provide them with loan funding to start a business. Seeking to decrease barriers to lending, JUST will advocate for changes in underwriting practices within the broader CDFI industry by highlighting the transformative journeys of its clients.

In addition to expanding their existing programs, JUST will invest in operating infrastructure to expand into new markets in Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas, in 2024.

Bell and Truist Financial Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers held a press conference including City of Austin Mayor Kirk Watson and JUST Head of Partnership and Community Growth Rashidah Alshams to formally announce the Truist Foundation grant and discuss its impact.

"The timing aligns perfectly," notes JUST CEO Steve Wanta. "Austin is actively exploring ways to create a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem through the mayor’s initiative to bring equity to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the City's focus, the financial support from Truist Foundation, and the capabilities of JUST's experienced team, the opportunity to broaden access to resources and foster innovative pathways for women entrepreneurs is distinct, exciting and could provide a playbook for the rest of Texas.” 

According to JUST, individuals who take on caregiving roles often choose entrepreneurship for its flexibility, yet they encounter challenges in securing capital because financial products rarely align with their unique needs. This hinders their path to financial stability, a crucial foundation for achieving economic mobility. When these entrepreneurs become part of JUST, they gain access to vital resources, all of which are essential for business growth.

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About Truist Foundation

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at

About JUST Community Inc.

JUST Community is a nonprofit certified CDFI and financial platform dedicated to closing the racial wealth gap by investing in ambitious Texas women through capital, peer coaching, and community. JUST designs financial pathways that provide catalytic opportunities for entrepreneurs to transform themselves and their communities. Since 2016, JUST has lent over $18M with a 99% repayment rate—never checking credit or requiring collateral.