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Community lenders serve as a vital source of funding for nontraditional borrowers.

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This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you've tried to get a loan from a traditional institution and been turned down, there's another source of business financing to consider.

"There are about 450 Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) in the country that act as bridges to link unconventional borrowers to conventional capital," says Mark Pinsky, executive director of the National Community Capital Association, a CDFI trade association.

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