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Fresh Start Fund

What We Do

Fresh Start Fund

For a detailed look at the Fresh Start Fund, please read this in-depth summary.

Goal: IRC’s Center for Economic Opportunity seeks to deploy credit building, auto, personal and business financing to refugees across 20 states, helping them directly save $44 million in interest charges when compared to subprime products. The Fresh Start Fund is the second round of a multi-year plan to deploy more than $70 million in low-interest financing coupled with credit education to refugees between 2023-2028.

What Supporting Fresh Start Means: CEO loans help clients build assets and learn about the credit system while offering alternatives to extractive financial products. Refugees arrive in the U.S. with no credit or employment history and no understanding of the complex U.S. financial system. Many come from primarily cash economies. The primary financing options available to refugees are typically predatory, which can have negative long-term consequences, hampering self-sufficiency. Supporting the Fresh Start Fund is an investment in a refugee’s journey in the United States, accelerating their economic integration.

Impact & Reach: CEO deploys capital to make low-interest consumer, auto and business loans strengthened by linguistically appropriate credit education and 1:1 financial coaching. The program will be delivered across 16+ states through our 29 referring partners. Fresh Start Fund loans will be targeted to borrowers that entered the U.S. as a refugee or other humanitarian status. 100% of borrowers will participate in linguistically appropriate credit education. CEO projects deploying 90% of loans to low-income refugee households while maintaining a 95% repayment rate.

Case Study: One of CEO's first impact investors, Baltimore Community Foundation, highlighted their investment in CEO through this video.

Quarterly Impact Reporting: CEO shares quarterly updates about borrower demographics, loan activity, portfolio performance, and notable trends. Interested in our most recent quarterly report? Please contact Joshua Geary (

Track Record: IRC’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) is a national CDFI Loan Fund and a subsidiary of the International Rescue Committee. Since 2015, CEO has made over 7,000 loans totaling $25 million, primarily to low-income, credit-thin refugees and immigrants, while maintaining a 98% repayment rateWatch this video to learn more.

To Learn More and Support Our Work: Contact Josh Geary at for more detailed information about CEO and the Fresh Start Fund and how you can support our critical work.

*Information that appears on this website contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties and is only intended for accredited investors. There can be no assurance that the investment objective of the fund will be achieved or that loans made by IRC's Center for Economic Opportunity will prove as successful as other loans that might have been made.*

*This website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction, nor shall there be any offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction*