Project CUE: Small Business Referral Marketplace


Every business day more than 8,000 small business loan requests are denied, contributing to a $52 billion credit gap. With Project CUE, these entrepreneurs now have a new “path to capital.” 

We’re Reinventing Yes

Project CUE has created a referral marketplace that addresses the market failure on Main Street by connecting small businesses to credit options from trusted community lenders. We are reinventing the customer experience to create new opportunities for business owners and lenders alike. 

How does it work?   

  • Community lenders identify the small business needs they best serve
  • Banks invite small business owners to the marketplace 
  • Business owners select the product and service options that best meet their needs

What are the benefits for CDFIs and community organizations?

  • Low-cost way to acquire customers
  • Qualified leads based on target markets and product offerings
  • More efficient applicant screening process
  • Advanced data aggregation and reporting capabilities
  • Easy-to-adopt technology with minimum changes to daily operations

It’s easy to get started! To find out if your CDFI is ready to receive small business referrals click here. 

What are the benefits for banks and other referral partners?

  • Give small business clients another trusted option when you have to say “no”
  • Retain small business relationships without reputation risk 
  • Track customer progress as they gain financial strength
  • Meet CRA goals

National, regional and community banks are committing to refer their customers to the marketplace. If you are interested in becoming a referral partner click here. 

For more information about the benefits of joining Project CUE, contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Seed money for this multi-bank industry solution resulted from a competitive national “Innovation Challenge” sponsored by the U.S. 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. 

If you are looking for ways to engage, invest and support this work, contact Tammy Halevy. 



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.