Opportunity to Support Women Entrepreneurs!
The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced funding for up to six (6) non-profit organizations that will provide services to the population of Alaska, Florida, Guam, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia to start new, community-based Women Business Centers (WBC). Link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=285169 The application is due August 3rd.
Women Business Centers (WBCs) represent a national network of nearly 100 educational centers throughout the United States and its territories, which are designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. This is a terrific opportunity to deepen your support for women-owned businesses and a great partnership with SBA.
Friedman Associates has extensive experience in both the administration of WBC Programs, as well as writing competitive applications.
Contact us for an initial consultation and we can share our experience and strategies for success.
Live Recording Now Available for CDFI Fund Certification Application Process
Over 100 nonprofit practitioners joined us yesterday to “crack the code” on the CDFI Fund Certification Process. This 100 minute webinar will take you through the entire process of determining your eligibility for Certification. Many thanks to our friend and colleague, Alice Veenstra, for her perspective and insights. She should know – Alice has read nearly 500 applications and has lost count on the number she has written! After the webinar, participants will receive a free preliminary assessment of their eligibility for certification. Missed the webinar? Watch here and give us a call to obtain your assessment. More webinars are on the way. Enjoy!
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) held its annual Small Business Finance Forum in Chicago last week. Nearly 400 attendees! Friedman Associates was proud to feature current and former Associates doing what we do best – relentlessly building the capacity of CDFI to increase impact and performance. Left to right: George Koste, Maryland Capital Enterprises; Dan DeSantis, Dorchester Bay Loan Fund; George Kenefic, The Loan Fund; Nancy Ng, Rainer Valley Community Development Fund; yours truly; Ross Welch, Arcata Economic Development Corporation; Robin Wang, Albinia Opportunities Fund; Michele Clapper, JARI; and Natalie Hester, Rainer Valley Community Development Fund.
Looks like we are working really hard!
Small Business CDFI Warriors in Chicago
Thursday, June 16, 2016
2:00 pm EST/1:00 pm CST/11:00 am PST
Over 1,200 nonprofit lenders are certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury CDFI Fund. Certification is the “doorway” to eligibility for potentially millions in capital and operating support. And it represents a sign of commitment to be a mission-led financial institution.
This webinar, led by acclaimed CDFI expert ,and former CDFI Fund staff, Alice Veenstra, will take you inside the certification process and answer key questions including:
- What does it mean to become a CDFI? What are the benefits?
- What are the 7 tests of certification and how do I know if my organization can be certified?
- What is the process to prepare the application?
- If we are not yet ready for certification, how do we prepare for it?
Bonus: by the end of the webinar, you will know if you meet the 7 tests, saving you thousands of dollars, and paving the way to preparing your Certification application. Get certified before the next round of CDFI Funding!
“Must Read” Reports on CDFIs & High-Cost Alternative Lenders
High-Cost alternative lenders: the bane of our contention. Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury released a seminal white paper on online marketplace lending called “Opportunities and Challenges in Online Marketplace Lending.” It was published after Treasury reviewed public comments on the issue, and conferred with seven relevant federal agencies. Treasury’s top recommendation to the federal government and private sector is that they “support more robust small business borrower protections and effective oversight.”
Related to this is a study just released by Opportunity Fund, a leading CDFI in California, that is a first-of-its-kind analysis of the loans being offered to small businesses by short-term, high-cost alternative lenders. “Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending.” One of their findings was that among the businesses that Opportunity Fund was able to refinance, monthly payments fell by more than 60% and APR dropped by an average of 85%. Those savings represent critically needed cash flow for many small businesses, but especially those struggling to survive or expand.”
Kudos to Opportunity Fund for investment in using their data sets to illustrate a problem – and a solution!
Many of our clients work with funders that focus more on overhead not impact. Sound familiar?
I think this graphic from the Bridgespan Group hits the nail on the head. How do you frame this issue with your stakeholders? How do you define mission-driven success? What does long-term change and impact look like for your clients? The less these questions are answered, the more some funders will resort to focusing on overhead. What do you think?