Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II recently joined Michigan Women Forward (MWF), the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Huntington National Bank and the Ballmer Group to announce the launch of a new $10 million microbusiness loan program for women and entrepreneurs of color in Michigan.
The Michigan Economic Opportunity 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.
“Starting and growing a business takes grit, courage and tenacity – and here in Michigan, that runs deep in our DNA,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., MEDC CEO. “By taking a truly Team Michigan approach, this new fund will facilitate more risk-takers across the state in acquiring access to the capital and support they need to be successful and build a future right here in Michigan. Work remains to aid microbusinesses, but this is a significant and praiseworthy start.”
Entrepreneurs can apply for up to $50,000 in loans through this program. With the average loan managed by MWF at $25,000, the Michigan Economic Opportunity Fund will be able to assist approximately 400 entrepreneurs. Last year, the nonprofit organization provided 88 loans for $2.456 million invested in primarily women-owned businesses.
Women, veterans and entrepreneurs of color can apply for Michigan Economic Opportunity Fund loans by visiting www.miwf.org.