Build the Region

Bridgeway Capital’s 2015 Annual Report

Workers from Ma’at Construction Group, a Homewood-based construction company, rehabilitate the interior of Bridgeway’s 7800 Susquehanna Street property.

Bridgeway Capital at a Glance

For 26 years, Bridgeway Capital has provided flexible and responsive financing to startup entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations looking to grow. We believe that substantial and lasting community revitalization will emerge from vibrant and thriving small businesses, high-impact community developments, and sustainable nonprofits.

Started in 1990 as a housing and social service lender, Bridgeway Capital was founded in response to the devastating impact of the steel industry collapse. Founder and President Mark Peterson knew that accessible capital could bring new wealth to the region, provide opportunities and jobs for many people, and ultimately improve and ignite growth. Bridgeway Capital connects entrepreneurs with the financial and educational resources required to transform business aspirations into community impact.

Bridgeway serves all of western Pennsylvania from its headquarters in Pittsburgh and from its offices in Uniontown and Erie.

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“Because of their mission of social responsibility, they made an investment in our small firm. The working capital from Bridgeway helped our business in multiple ways.”

Rashad Byrdsong
President and CEO, Community Empowerment Association, Co-owner, Ma’at Construction Group | Pittsburgh, PA

Message from the Leadership

2015 marked Bridgeway Capital’s 25th year of working to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all. Through a quarter-century, Bridgeway has made 1,000 loans totaling more than $118 million; 264 loans supported enterprises owned or led by African Americans. Businesses and enterprises owned or led by women have received 366 loans. In 2015 alone, Bridgeway:

  • Closed 114 loans totaling more than $21 million — both records for the organization
  • Supported the creation of 140 new jobs and 41 startup businesses
  • Provided 2,600 hours of pro bono business education services to emerging entrepreneurs

Bridgeway raised new capital in 2015 to build on its legacy of impact. Several investors committed $32 million in new capital for lending in disadvantaged communities. Leading the way is a new, $15 million investment from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund’s Bond Guarantee Program. The CDFI Fund’s investment has a 30-year term at a fixed rate, allowing Bridgeway to offer its customers longer terms at stable prices.

2015 was successful, but challenges remain. Despite signs of economic progress, many communities are left behind. Unemployment, poverty, blight, inequality, and discrimination continue to plague urban and rural communities. Bridgeway and its partners must work harder to create an economic landscape that fosters economic diversity.

This annual report outlines Bridgeway’s recent impact and emerging initiatives, and it also explores individual success stories. Bridgeway possesses the experience and skills to address the difficult challenges of the next 25 years, and increases its impact by providing more loans to more individuals, reinvesting in underserved communities, and offering support services to build business skills. In short, Bridgeway connects opportunity with capital.

We thank our investors and other partners for their continued support and commitment to help make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all.

And we look forward to sharing even more exciting and important results from 2016.

Sincerely,

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Stanley Maharam (left) is the chairperson of Bridgeway’s Board of Directors and serves as a senior vice president for Citizens Bank. Mark Peterson (right) started the organization in 1990 and today is Bridgeway’s president and CEO.

Mission-Driven Economic Development

We work to make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all by promoting economic opportunity and community revitalization. Bridgeway Capital assists underserved populations by providing capital and education to ignite business and job growth, develop communities, support entrepreneurs and expand vital services that strengthen our region.

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“Bridgeway allowed us to add a brick-and-mortar location and to expand the scope of our business.”

Michelle Lancet
Co-owner, Spool | Pittsburgh, PA

15-county-targetReaching Western Pennsylvania

Bridgeway’s base of operations has always been Pittsburgh. In 1990, Bridgeway Capital was born out of the city’s economic wreckage. Equipped with a $2,500 investment, our goal was to provide resources to reinvent and revitalize communities.

In 2012, we realized that we could use our skills and resources to support other underinvested areas of western Pennsylvania, and opened an office in Erie. Erie’s post-industrial challenges were similar to those found in Pittsburgh, and our research indicated that our capabilities could improve conditions in that area.

We opened an office in Uniontown in 2014. Although southwestern Pennsylvania’s rural environment presented new challenges for Bridgeway, the area’s high level of chronic poverty and lack of economic opportunity were strong motivators to become involved.

“Financing commercial spaces is much more challenging for a group like ACTION-Housing, so we went to Bridgeway because they’re the experts.”

Larry Swanson
Executive Director, ACTION-Housing | Pittsburgh, PA