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Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), is a member of the Friends of the SBA Microloan program and located in Georgia. Since its inception in 1999, ACE has lent more than $37 million to 725 small businesses, saving or created more than 6,200 jobs in the state. ACE uses these federal programs and leverages significant private funds to assist underserved borrowers who are frequently overlooked by the traditional institutions. The SBA Microloan program is an important part of the organization’s financial tools that they use to meet the capital needs of their communities’ underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses. A great example of this work with community businesses is their assistance to River Dog Paddle Co. The River Dog Paddle Co. was started by Mike and Connie Sams. The business is an outpost rental shop that provides paddle boarding lessons and gear for the outdoorsy enthusiast. The name of their shop…

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Small Business Loans (CDC Loans) is a member of the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program and an active SBA Microloan intermediary. A nonprofit organization, located in San Diego, California, CDC Loans offers low interest financing programs to businesses of all shapes and sizes so they can expand, grow, and create jobs. Throughout their 39 year history, the organization has helped create more than 182,000 jobs and invested more than $13.8 billion to over 11,000 small businesses in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The SBA Microloan program is an important part of the organization’s financial tools to meet the capital needs of their communities’ underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses. A great example of this is their work with George Thornton, a small business owner in San Diego, California. George began brewing his own beer as a hobby in 2002 thanks to a recommendation from his sister. It wasn’t until he was…

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Written by Ayrianne Parks and Sam Rapoza The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, (WWBIC) is a long time member of the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program, based in Wisconsin. WWBIC helps individuals who face barriers that keep them from getting the funding needed to start or keep their business running. On Sunday, Wendy K. Baumann, WWBIC President and CVO, was honored as the recipient of the 2017 Jody C. Raskind Lender Award, which was presented in Washington, D.C. by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. The Jody C. Raskind Lender Award is annual SBA Award presented to “a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow and expand.” Stephanie Smokovich is a prime example of how WWBIC has helped small businesswomen fulfill their entrepreneurial goals. Stephanie Smokovich is an entrepreneur based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, where she owns and operates Bella Blvd.  Bella Blvd is a scrapbooking and memory…

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Written by Sam Rapoza The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) is a long time member of the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program. MACED is local to Kentucky, and partners with people local to the state who like Ms. Suramek, are keen on building upon the strengths of Kentucky and Central Appalachia through sustainable development. A recent example of this work is their help financing the socially and sustainably conscious restaurant Noodle Nirvana.  Mae Suramek, an aspiring restaurateur, was in need startup capital to open her socially conscious restaurant, Noodle Nirvana. Ms. Suramek had previously worked at Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, a regional, non-profit organization.  She had been drawn to the field by her desire to do advocacy, education, lobbying, programming, service delivery, but most of her work was focused on fundraising. Her drive to help her community fueled her notion to open her very own restaurant. Ms.…

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Written by Sam Rapoza This week is National Small Business Week. Since 1963, presidents have declared a week recognizing contributions of our country’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our members, the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program, play an important role in supporting entrepreneurs the Small Business Administration (SBA) Microloan Program. This is the largest federal program exclusively targeted to supporting the credit needs of very small businesses and sole-proprietorships. Through a network of community-based, nonprofit Intermediaries, the SBA Microloan program provides small-dollar loans and technical assistance to small businesses that cannot secure credit from conventional lenders or other SBA guaranteed loans, including many women, low-income, veteran, and minority entrepreneurs. In celebration of this important week, we will be posting stories each day that highlight a business and the assistance a microloan intermediary played in helping make their business dreams a reality. The Entrepreneur Fund (Efund), is a great example of…

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On March 30th, the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program gathered in Washington, D.C. to meet with senior SBA staff and Members of Congress and their staff about their work as Microloan intermediaries.  As a part of the effort, the group hosted a Congressional Briefing in the House Small Business Committee Room.  Ayrianne Parks of Rapoza Associates welcomed attendees and shared findings from the Friends’ May 2016 Report on the Microloan Program.  Shawn Wellnitz of Entrepreneur Fund, Peter Hille of MACED, and Celina Peña of LiftFund presented on their work as intermediaries and shared examples of entrepreneurs they had helped realize their small business goals. Microloan borrowers included veteran, minority, women and low-income entrepreneurs who started a variety of businesses, ranging from a brewer and pizza-maker to a chicken farmer, a welder, a construction business, and an event designer. If you missed the event or would like electronic copies of…

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Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a member of the Friends of the SBA Microloan Program, is turning 40! The organization, which is a private non-profit lending institution offering loans to small businesses in Colorado, provides technical assistance and capital to help promote business development and growth. In fact, CEF has loaned over $49 million to more than 1,700 businesses since 1976, helping create and retain more than 14,500 Colorado jobs. Continuing to build on its history of success, CEF announced a new partnership with the City of Loveland, which resulted in the creation of the Loveland Microloan Fund.  The Fund will provide financing for small businesses that do not qualify for traditional banking financing in the Loveland, Colorado.  Loveland granted an initial $150,000, which CEF will match.  Eligible small businesses may receive up to a $50,000 loan to cover business related activities such as start-up expenses, equipment and inventory purchases, operations, and…

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Accion recently received a recommendation from Business News Daily, which highlights the Friends member as the best alternative lender for startup loans. Accion was chosen from dozens of alternative lenders. Read the story…

The House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Financial Services Bill on June 17, on a vote of 30-to-20.  The bill provides a total of $20.2 billion in funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Securities and Exchange Committee, which is $1.3 billion below the FY15 allocation and $4.8 billion below the President’s budget request. The bill provides $853,000,000 for the SBA, and allocates a total of $223,600,000 specifically for necessary expenses of programs supporting entrepreneurial and small business development.  Of that amount, $117,000,000 is specifically designated to fund grants for performance in FY16 or FY17 pursuant to §21 of the Small Business Act, and $25,000,000 is allocated for marketing, management, and technical assistance under §7(m) of the Small Business Act by intermediaries that make microloans under the microloan program.  The amount recommended for technical assistance as well as the $35 million…

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Treasurer Spencer Coggs Keynote Speaker at Financial Education Graduation Milwaukee Courier Coggs stated “You are taking control of your future by participating and completing this course in financial literacy.” Sponsored by the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), the 100 graduates had completed the classes they had taken since January 2015.

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