Our small business factoring readership may have generally come to consider most developments in twentieth century microfinance as taking place in the field of wide-reaching global funding. Fortunately for struggling business owners in Cleveland’s minority communities, innovation in local, small business microfinance is enjoying an unprecedented resurgence.
This development comes according to Robert L. Smith of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH. His article’s title claims that “With Microloans, Cleveland Hopes to Jumpstart Businesses in Minority Communities.” Smith attributes the lack of small businesses in minority communities to a shortage of capital, rather than a “lack of ambition and ideas.”
Furthermore, the Economic and Community Development Institute, “a 501(c)3 non-profit economic development organization located in Columbus, Ohio” plans to open an office in Cleveland in order to “invest in people to create measurable and enduring social and economic change.”
This mission statement, from ECDI’s website, is the ideological cement by which Cleveland will be revitalized and rebuilt.
“The aim is to launch more businesses in neighborhoods that need them and to expand opportunities for low-income entrepreneurs,” says Smith.
According to analysts from Friedman Associates, an Iowa-based economic development company, loans to Cleveland businesses dropped sharply from 2007 to 2009. Their study apparently “revealed an unmet need for about $38 million in loans under $50,000.”
Organizations like ECDI, Friedman Associates and the Cleveland Foundation are doing everything in their power to jumpstart business practice around the world, but-for any community-good business practices begin locally.