CMF members Michigan Women Forward (MWF) and the Ballmer Group joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Huntington National Bank in launching The Michigan Economic Opportunity Fund which supports women and entrepreneurs of color in Michigan.
The fund will lend to individuals who don’t qualify for traditional loans through banks or other financial institutions, providing opportunities for those who are socially and economically disadvantaged due to a lack of access to capital and credit.
MWF will manage the fund and will process applications that come through its website, along with referrals made by its banking institution partners.
"The Michigan Economic Opportunity Fund will change the trajectory of a Michigan small business owner,” Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO of MWF said. “This funding will build a sustainable business, generate wealth for that individual and ultimately, impact the state’s economy and create jobs in the communities in which we live.”
According to a state press release, partial support for this program comes from a $1.5 million grant from Ballmer Group with additional support from MEDC, State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) loan participation and Huntington National Bank.
Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for up to $50,000 in loans through this program. Women, veterans and all entrepreneurs of color can apply.
CMF members MWF and Ballmer Group have long supported women- and people of color-owned businesses.
As CMF reported, Ballmer Group recently announced a $400 million investment with four organizations focused on Black investment managers and Black businesses.
MWF’s Microloan Fund provides entrepreneurs with access to capital in the form of microloans between $2,500 and $50,000 in size. The purpose of the fund is to support the growth and development of Michigan entrepreneurs and businesses, with an emphasis on empowering women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color.
Read the full press release.