COMMUNITY MICRO EQUITY FUND HELPS SMALL BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES
BY TIA CAROL JONES
Nine small, Black-owned business have been selected to receive a portion of $160,000 as part of the Community Micro Equity Fund (CMEF), which was launched by Greenwood Archer Capital, in partnership with Sunshine Enterprises.
The Community Micro Equity Fund, focused on bolstering businesses on the South and West sides, provided up to $25,000, along with support services that could be used to start or scale business. Funding for the program was provided by the PNC Foundation.
Greenwood Archer Capital is a Community Development Financial
Institution, which was previously known as CNI Micro Finance
Group. It is a nonprofit mission-driven lender, which ensures that underbanked and underserved populations have access to capital. Its target audience is Black, low to moderate income entrepreneurs, as well as other entrepreneurs of color, new businesses and other populations
that might not have access to traditional capital.
Erica L. King, President of Greenwood Archer Capital, realized there wasn’t a lot of equity in communities, and as part of GAC’s rebranding, it wanted to level the playing field for Black entrepreneurs and ensuring there is all forms of capital provided. Because the population that GAC works with don’t have access to a lot of money when they are looking
to start a business.
“We wanted to create a product that served as ‘family and friends money’ for the new and the budding entrepreneur that may be trying to invent something and that may be trying to test a product, but may need some initial capital to get started. We wanted to make sure these businesses
had stepping stones and had the ability to tap into flexible funding,” King said.
Sunshine Enterprises is based in Woodlawn, but provides entrepreneurial education and training to business owners in all parts of the city.
In order for Greenwood Archer Capital to be an equity- like partner for these businesses, they wanted to not just provide capital, but also provide education, mentoring and access to contracts and opportunities, so those businesses could scale and grow.
In order for the businesses to be eligible for the funding, the owners had to participate in an eight-week entrepreneurial training course, offered through Sunshine Enterprises, which is called the Community Business Academy. Entrepreneurs in the course learn how to get organize, how to start a business plan, education on the different forms of business capital, assistance with their operational strategy and help with the marketing strategy.
The nine businesses that received the money from Community Micro Equity Fund are: R.P. Couture, LLC; Teaching N Training, L3C; Game of Tortillas Food Truck, LLC; Danie’s Natural Juice Blends; Egg Rolls Etc.,
LLC; Tori Prince Beauty, LLC; Content Maven Media; Last Minute Hair, LLC; and Tips 312, LLC.
“I was bootstrapping my vision until I found CMEF, and when I ran out of expandable capital, I was crushed,” Tiffany Shelly, founder and CEO of Last Minute Hair, said in a release. “I had to let my employees go, and it just felt like everything I worked hard for went down the drain. It wasn’t
because of lack of effort or know-how but lack of capital.”
Shelly’s business, Last Minute Hair, is a mobile-based app that provides on demand delivery service from local beauty supply stores to customers.
For more information about Community Business Academy, visit Sunshine Enterprises at www.sunshineenterprises. com
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