Inclusive Finance Report™

Arkansas Business Owner Empowers Women Entrepreneurs through Instagram

Arkansas Business Loans

LITTLE ROCK, AR (September 10, 2018) - Arkansas business owner Erin Hohnbaum launched an Instagram social movement to highlight the success of entrepreneurs.

“There are so many fascinating women doing really cool things and there needs to be a place where we can showcase that,” Hohnbaum said. “"I feel like a lot of the women we look up to followed a similar path, but there are so many different paths out there for women nowadays.”

Read the article here.

Indiana Grants Help Small Businesses Thrive

Indiana Business Loans

LAKE COUNTY, IN (September 7, 2018) - The Lake County Economic Development Commission is awarding $750,000 in grants to support small businesses, specifically targeting rural and minority-owned ventures.

The initiative’s goal is to create as many jobs as possible, while also providing new buildings and industrial equipment for food processing and manufacturing companies.

Read more here.

Launch Alaska Funds Alternative Energy Startups

Alaska Small Business Finance

ANCHORAGE, AK (September 6, 2018) - A new business accelerator Launch Alaska is funding alternative energy ventures to explore solutions for the state’s high energy usage.

Isaac Vanderburg can! “Alaska is the ideal place for an alternative energy start up today,” said Isaac Vanderburg of Launch Alaska. “It’s a great place to prove your concept and get some traction.”

Read the article here.

Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs Celebrate Success, But Note Challenges

Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs

MADISON, WI (September 5, 2018) - The women-led Doyenne Group hosted the 5x5x5 pitch contest last week as part of the Forward Festival celebrating Wisconsin entrepreneurs.

“While I agree it’s been a banner year for women, in general and in Madison, female entrepreneurs still face steep challenges in the startup space, especially in tech,” said CEO Abigail Barnes, of Allergy Amulet.

Read more here.

MIT Collaborates with Sioux Tribes to Develop Small Business in North Dakota

BISMARCK, ND (September 3, 2018) - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched the Oceti Sakowin Fellowship this year to connect the MIT community with entrepreners from the Sioux tribes with a focus on clean water, economic prosperity, affordable housing and renewable energy.

“In the Dakotas, creativity and ingenuity abound, yet so often entrepreneurs in these regions have been far too under-resourced. Together we can drive abundant collaboration for all doers in Oceti Sakowin and beyond,” tech entrepreneur Megan Smith writes.

Read more here.

New Mexico Top Ranked for Women’s Equality in Entrepreneurship

New Mexico Business Financing

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (September 2, 2018) - A study of gender gaps throughout the United States determined that New Mexico has the second lowest entrepreneurship gap and third lowest executive positions gap.

Read the article here.

New Hampshire Hosts Radically Rural Conference

New Hampshire Entrepreneur Resources

KEANE, NH (September 1, 2018) - The new Radically Rural Conference, hosted on the streets of Keane, New Hampshire, will highlight culture,  entrepreneurship and business development resources opportunities in rural New England.

“How do we have an event that emphasizes how cool it is to live in rural areas and what wonderful things are going on? That they’re great places to live, but also how do they become great places to work?” asked organizer Mary Ann Kristiansen, in her quest to establish a new approach to this subject.

Read further here.

Partnership Grant Funds Business Development in New Orleans

Small Business New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LA (August 31, 2018) - A $6,000 Partnership Grant to New Orleans nonprofit Urban Conservancy will fund programming to educate business owners in the greater New Orleans area.

“Receiving the grant enabled us to be creative in our programming,” Abigail Sebton of Urban Conservancy said. “It is incredibly important to both create programs and to strengthen relationships between local organizations and their banking partners in the Greater New Orleans area.”

Read the article here.

Businesses Pursue Loans Before Federal Reserve Boosts Interest Rates

Business Loans

WASHINGTON, DC (August 30, 2018) - Federal Reserve interests rates are projected to rise from 2% to 3.1% by the end of 2019, indicating that the longer businesses delay to secure loans, the higher the interest rate they will pay.

“Business owners continue to invest in their firms and are finding success in securing capital, according to our latest figures,” CEO Rohit Arora says. “Smaller banks are a good source of capital for startups and companies with less than stellar credit rating.”

Read the article in Black Enterprise here.

Maine Towns Finance Business Growth


PORTLAND, ME (August 29, 2018) - Numerous towns throughout the state of Maine are issuing economic development loans to spur business growth and job creation.

The city of Portland loaned $3.04 million since 2013 to 38 different projects ranging from a daycare to tortilla manufacturers.

“The city’s commercial loan program exists to assist Portland businesses that are not yet bankable or that have a financial gap with a bank to support business growth,” Nelle Hanig, Portland’s business programs manager said.

Read the article here.

University of Nebraska Launches Biz Kids Camp to Encourage Student Entrepreneurs


KEARNEY, NE (August 25, 2018) - The University of Nebraska’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development is teaching students age 10 to 14 to develop business ideas and manage finances.

"It's to kind of light that entrepreneurial fire for these students. They might know they want to start a business someday and we're really just helping them refine those skills and put them into practice," said Aliese Hoffman, coordinator of youth education.

Read more here.

FCC Awards $254 Million to Expand Internet Access to Missouri Small Businesses

Missouri Small Business Financing

ST. LOUIS, MO (August 24, 2018) - The Federal Communications Commission allocated $254.7 million to provide over 95,000 small businesses and homes in rural Missouri with broadband internet service.

“Making sure rural Missourians have access to broadband will improve quality of life and enhance economic opportunities,” Senator Roy Blunt said of the program.

Senator Claire McCaskill called it “an important step toward connecting rural communities throughout Missouri with high-speed broadband — a service that is only becoming more and more necessary for small businesses.”

Read the article here.

TechStars Hosts Innovation Day in Frankfort, Kentucky

Kentucky Startup Funding

FRANKFORT, KY (August 23, 2018) - Entrepreneur mentorship network TechStars hosted Innovation Day in Frankfort, a summit for startups and entrepreneurs to meet potential investors and access resources throughout the state of Kentucky.

"Through our KY Innovation efforts, the Commonwealth is a leader in connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses with the resources needed to launch globally competitive companies," said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. "Whether they need mentorship, access to premier research facilities or financial capital, we're aligning valuable resources through KY Innovation and RISE to help them succeed. Unprecedented collaboration between the state's public and private sector partners is opening new doors of opportunity, and there has truly never been a better time to start and grow a business in Kentucky."

Read more here.

SBA Awards $150,000 FAST Award to Wyoming SBDC

Wyoming Small Business Loans

JACKSON HOLE, WY (August 22, 2018) - The US Small Business Administration has named the Wyoming Small Business Development Center as a recipient of the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program award.

“FAST partners are an important part of the innovation entrepreneur ecosystem.  They provide training, financial and technical assistance for small, next-generation technology businesses, and help them navigate federally-funded innovation and R&D programs,” said Linda McMahon of the SBA.

Read more here.

Idaho’s Entrepreneur Challenge Awards Seed Funding to Top Startup Pitches

Idaho Entrepreneurs

BOISE, ID (August 21, 2018) - Zion Bank awarded $100,000 in seed funding for startup ideas pitched by Idaho State University students at the annual Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge.

The event gives students an opportunity to present their ideas to a team of angel investors and venture capitalists.

“Numerous judges and panelists commented on the very high quality of the ideas and presentation of the ISU teams. Over 90 teams from across the state joined the competition. According to the judges, our student teams represented ISU very well as the benchmark institution for others to follow,” said Jeff Street of the ISU Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.

Read the entire article here.

Delaware Founders Initiative Mentors Startups and Entrepreneurs

Delaware small business

DOVER, DE (August 20, 2018) - The new Delaware Founders Initiative is supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Delaware, providing business development and mentorship services to startups and new entrepreneurs.

“We’ve worked with 46 entrepreneurs’ over our three-year history, and we’re continuing to seek out and to help Delaware’s risk-takers get off the ground to help rebuild our state, turning it into a destination for ideas, innovation and industry once more,” member Bill Topkis said.

Read the article here.

State Funding Awarded for Startups in Rural Virginia

Small business financing

COVINGTON, VA (August 17, 2018) - Governor Ralph Northam allocated Community Business Launch awards of $45,000 to five towns to fund training and business development support for entrepreneurs in rural southwest Virginia.

A portion of the funds will support The Gauntlet, a business competition modeled after NBC’s Shark Tank to win seed money.

“We look forward to new businesses opening and current businesses expanding throughout these communities that will only enhance the vibrancy and quality of life in each of these downtown districts,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball.

Read the article here.

Salt Lake City Has Highest Concentration of Young Business Owners in US


SALT LAKE CITY, UT (August 16, 2018) - Salt Lake City, Utah has the greatest concentration of young entrepreneurs in the United States, a new study cited in Fox Business found.

The city’s low cost of living and youthful population make it an ideal base for establishing a business.

Read the entire article here.

Tech Partnerships a Major Success for African-American Bank in South Carolina

Business financing

COLUMBIA, SC (August 15, 2018) - South Carolina Community Bank rebounded from the financial crisis by developing a new network of Fintech partnerships.

“As a small bank, we don’t have a large innovation lab budget; we don’t have the thousands of people focused on product development that large banks have,” CEO Dominik Mjartan said. “But we do have some very good partners we’re working with that could really transform our ability to innovate and then scale the innovation.”

Read the article here.

South Dakota, Tennessee, Alaska, Michigan and Utah Rank Highest for Supporting Small Businesses

Business Financing

SIOUX FALLS, SD (August 14, 2018) - The states of South Dakota, Tennessee, Alaska, Michigan and Utah rank highest for being friendly and supportive to small business owners, according to a new national survey of 7,500 business owners.

Read more here.