Project CUE: Small Business Referral Marketplace



Through Project CUE, AEO has built and launched a referral marketplace that connects small businesses that banks are unable to serve with credit options and “path to capital” services. This scalable, compliant referral marketplace enables financial institutions to serve customers in spite of a decline. As a source of customer leads to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and providers of “path to capital” solutions, the marketplace will radically reduce costs of customer acquisition and assessment.

Seed money for this multi-bank industry solution resulted from a competitive national “Innovation Challenge” sponsored by the US Treasury’s CDFI Fund, with follow-on financial support from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Standards to qualify marketplace participants have been developed in collaboration with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and the first wave of banks has committed to use the platform. 

Is your CDFI ready to receive small business referrals

Interested in referring small businesses? Banks and non-bank lenders are already referring applicants. We welcome interest from national, regional and community banks as well as non-bank lenders and others. 

Looking for ways to engage, invest and support this work?

Other questions? Contact us


Blogs: Follow our journey from Innovation Challenge to Technology-enabled Marketplace

2/03/16 Connecting Underserved Entrepreneurs

2/24/16 Design Thinking from Day One

3/08/16 Fast Forward: How CDFIs Imagine Their Industry 5 Years Ahead

3/15/16 Designing with the Customer in Mind

4/19/16 How User Journeys Get Us Closer

7/26/16 Building A New Way to Credit

7/06/16 Six Month Milestones and the Road Ahead




07/19/16 Webinar 1 - Overview of Project CUE, its significance for the industry and how others can get involved. Featuring Annie Donovan, Director, CDFI Fund; Tammy Halevy, SVP  New Initiatives, AEO; Sheri Flanigan-Vazquez, COO, JustinePetersen; and Celina Pena, Chief Program Officer, LiftFund.

09/08/16 Webinar 2 - A look at the design and development of the technology solution with insights from the AEO team and partners. Featuring Jamie Baker, Amazon Web Services; Joshua Brackett, CFO, ACE; James Hobson, COO, OnDeck; and Keith Catanzano, Partner, 2River Consulting Group.

09/21/16 Webinar 3 - Bank partner, Woodforest National Bank, and others share their respective experiences and perspectives on traditional referral programs and the future of the CUE solution. Featuring Doug Schaeffer, EVP, Woodforest National Bank; Nancy Stark, Senior Manager, CapitalOne;  Keith Catanzano, Partner, 2River Consulting Group; and Celina Pena, Chief Program Officer of LiftFund.

05/17/17 Webinar for CDFIs – This conversation provides an overview of the small business customer referral marketplace and how CDFI loan funds can participate. Featuring Ted Archer, Vice President of Small Business Programs, JPMorgan Chase Foundation; Joshua Brackett, CFO, ACE; Paige Chapel, CEO, Aeris Insights; Tammy Halevy, SVP, New Initiatives, AEO. Download slide deck here.