Prestigious Newhouse School instrumental in expansion of multibillion-dollar economic development initiative

syracuse university su newhouse sourcefunding fundingnavigator wmichael short alum famous fintech.jpg

SYRACUSE, NY (SEPTEMBER 21, 2018) - The #1 ranked S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications highlighted in its latest feature, “Newhouse School instrumental in expansion of multibillion-dollar economic development initiative” The feature celebrates the recent surge in growth for the platform as it surpassed its goals for 2018.

“Multibillion-dollar economic development initiatives originally launched in 2014 and 2015 with the assistance of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University are now helping over 50,000 startups, small businesses, nonprofits and community development organizations expand nationwide by speeding up the financing application process and matching them with the best community funding sources for their particular circumstances and stage of growth.”

Click to read the entire Newhouse article.

IN THE NEWS: Founder W. Michael Short Featured on WCBS 880 Small Business Spotlight with Joe Connolly

NEW YORK CITY (June 5, 2018) - founder W. Michael Short was featured by News Radio WCBS 880 Small Business Spotlight in an interview about the platform’s national growth, surpassing first-year projections with over 50,000 businesses, startups, and nonprofits served to date, and a mission to combat predatory online lenders and brokers.

Highlighting that “ makes economics and finance interesting, fun, and understandable as it offers entrepreneurs an array of funding options so they can avoid online predatory lenders,” News Radio WCBS Small Business Spotlight described the platform as “a dating service for entrepreneurs looking for funding” and compared it with popular dating app Tinder, which is operated along with by $12 billion dollar Match Group, Inc.

“Inherent in this entire situation is a relationship – a relationship between the lender and the small business – and there’s really been a breakdown,” W. Michael Short explained. “What we’ve been able to do is to integrate this really innovative technology to look at the needs and capacities and interests, the particular details of each business, and to be able to look at the lenders across the country, and to be able to find that match.”

IN THE NEWS: Selected Forbes Editors' Pick - “Funding Platform Aims To 'Level The Playing Field' For Small Business”

NEW YORK CITY (March 31, 2018) was highlighted by Forbes in the feature “A New Funding Platform Aims To 'Level The Playing Field' For Small Business” by Robb Mandelbaum.

"In 2014, research by Karen Mills, former administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Obama, confirmed what [ CEO W. Michael Short] found on the ground [as a Syracuse University Engagement Scholar and social entrepreneur helping small businesses & high impact initiatives access capital].

"There's a disconnect," Short said, "between lenders who say they can't find qualified applicants, and the credit-worthy businesses going from lender to lender and can't find a loan." That year he decided to launch as a nationwide resource for small businesses. “If you're a business owner, you're really on your own,” Short explained. “It's impossible to get the full picture of [every business financing opportunitity & what's the best match]."

"In January, Short, who is 31, [completed the national expansion of, which is] intended to provide that big picture — especially for underserved businesses, like those owned by women and minorities, who find it disproportionately harder to borrow money. Over the last four years, his company has painstakingly collected data on loan programs and application requirements from some 14,000 institutions nationwide, including small community banks, credit unions, local economic aid groups known as community development financial institutions, and other nonprofit lenders."

About provides an easy, safe and secure online system for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations in the U.S. to apply for low-cost financing from high-quality community lenders using the nation’s first universal small business loan application process. was launched as an inclusive, transparent and low-cost alternative to the rapidly growing number of predatory online lenders and predatory online loan brokers. The financial technology platform’s unprecedented Responsible Finance Network includes over 14,000 trusted community banks, non-profit lenders, credit unions and CDFIs in the U.S.

Highlighted for economic impact at the White House and for socially responsible "FinTech Innovation" in the Business & Management Review, the university, foundation and investor-backed is leveling the playing field for ALL entrepreneurs in the U.S. so they can easily find and secure the quality business financing to expand and create jobs. Builds on Collaboration with Prestigious Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Photo Credit: Syracuse University

Photo Credit: Syracuse University

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (March 6, 2018) - Building on long-standing collaborative efforts and initiatives with Syracuse University, providing over 150 graduate & undergraduate students to date with engaged and experiential scholarship opportunities, continues to develop its social enterprise business model with the assistance of the Community Benchmarks Program at SU’s prestigious Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs.

W. Michael Short , Founder , and Director of the International Innovators Initiative ( IN2NYC ) at Medgar Evers College School of Business, City University of New York ( VIDEO LINK ).

W. Michael Short, Founder, and Director of the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) at Medgar Evers College School of Business, City University of New York (VIDEO LINK).

Highlighted in Forbes, at the New York Stock Exchange, at the White House for economic impact, and in the Business & Management Review for socially responsible innovation in financial is at the forefront of a new era of hybrid social enterprises: organizations that pursue social missions that are fueled by market-based business models, integrating social and economic objectives.

"The development strategies and plans evolving from our previous work with the Community Benchmark Program in 2015 helped build a strong foundation for the successful national expansion of our hybrid social enterprise business model," said CEO W. Michael Short (SU '10 & SU Engagement Scholar '11). "We're grateful for the opportunity to build on that successful collaboration."

As noted by Huffington Post, in an article highlighting the involvement of SU in the early development of with social entrepreneur W. Michael Short, the number of social enterprises in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2006.

“The social innovators leading the hybrid movement have advanced efforts to increase accountability of both for-profit and nonprofit social enterprises by combining the best attributes of each,” writes Chris Miller, CEO of the Mission Center L3C Incubator, in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. “It seems safe to assume that the vanguards of the millennial generation and hybrid movement, respectively, will continue to seek more authentic, transparent, and accountable mechanisms for changing the world.”

Specifically, university, foundation, and investor-backed expanded nationally in the U.S. to provide a trusted, transparent, & low-cost alternative to the growing number of predatory online small business lenders that are increasingly using deceptive tactics, misleading fees, and hidden costs to take advantage of entrepreneurs nationwide. 

As noted by the U.S. Treasury Department, big banks cut down on their small business lending following the 2008 financial crisis & online FinTech firms stepped in to fill the unmet demand for credit. As a result, the industry boomed and is on track to lend $90 billion a year by 2020. However, according to Opportunity Fund, FinTech loans come at a substantial price with annual percentage interest rates (APRs) reaching from 94% to as high as 358%.

Karen Mills  is a Fellow at the Harvard and a leading authority on entrepreneurship & online lending. She was a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the Administrator of the U.S. SBA from 2009 to 2013 (Photo: U.S. SBA).

Karen Mills is a Fellow at the Harvard and a leading authority on entrepreneurship & online lending. She was a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, serving as the Administrator of the U.S. SBA from 2009 to 2013 (Photo: U.S. SBA).

Research published by Karen Mills, distinguished senior fellow at Harvard University who lead the U.S. SBA during the Obama Administration, points to a disconnect between traditional banks, that cite a lack of demand from qualified borrowers, and creditworthy business owners, who describe going from bank to bank unable to get a business loan. As a result, businesses are turning to predatory online lending platforms in record numbers. provides the first & only universal small business loan application system accessing every community bank, credit union, non-profit lender, & community development financial institution (CDFI) in the U.S. with the platform's national Responsible Finance Network™ incorporating a network of over 14,000 of the nation's most trusted, transparent, & low-cost lenders. simplifies the capital search process, streamlines the business financing application process, and eliminates over 100 hours of paperwork for entrepreneurs. Using technology to assess the particular circumstances of each entrepreneur, business venture, or organization, along with advanced matchmaking algorithms, identifies the small business lending programs that are a good fit out of all the opportunities available.

The platform’s national financial inclusion campaign and social enterprise business model includes multiple independently operated organizations operating toward a shared mission of leveling the playing field for all entrepreneurs in the U.S. in order to stimulate economic impact, community development, and job creation. Partnership with to Provide Alternative to Predatory Lenders

NEW YORK CITY (January 15, 2018) - University and foundation-backed recently announced a new partnership with to support small business growth and job creation in the US.


Serving as a Kiva Trustee, will be recommending entrepreneurs and small businesses for priority access to 0% interest small business loans.

The new partnership demonstrates growing momentum behind’s national campaign for the financial inclusion and empowerment of all entrepreneurs in the US.

The partnership also represents further expansion of’s Responsible Finance Network™, which has grown to include several thousand trusted, transparent, and low-cost community lenders within the last year.

“This is yet another exciting step forward in our commitment to level the playing field for all entrepreneurs and small business owners in the US so they can easily find and secure the quality, low-cost, and transparent financing needed to expand & create jobs,” said Sara Brainard, Brooklyn-based entrepreneur and VP of Corporate Operations for

One entrepreneur already benefiting from the new partnership is Ashley Warmington, a student entrepreneur at Medgar Evers College School of Business who is working on her MWBE certification with the support of the College’s nationally recognized Entrepreneurship & Experiential Learning Lab.

Using, Ashley’s AirBnB management and concierge company, Cozy Oasis, was matched with Kiva and recommended for funding. The funding will accelerate the company’s growth globally into three new countries, which will create several new jobs in the Brooklyn community.

"Our entrepreneurs and small businesses face significant barriers when seeking financing to grow and create jobs,” said JoAnn Rolle, dean of the Business School at Medgar Evers College. “Entrepreneurship is an an important self directed career pathway for many of our students after they graduate and access to funding is crucial.”

To learn more about the positive impact is having, click here. Founder Speaks at Brooklyn Navy Yard

Photo Credit: City of New York

Photo Credit: City of New York

NEW YORK CITY (September 3, 2017) - founder W. Michael Short spoke today on a panel at the Brooklyn Navy Yard about his work with CUNY Medgar Evers College School of Business (MEC) to support grassroots community-based ventures and entrepreneurs. The panel, part of Brooklyn Music Week, was planned by MEC, the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Council, and community-based organization Forever My City.

The panel was held at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center BLDG 92, a recently renovated facility "designed to engage with the community and inspire future generations to become industrial innovators and entrepreneurs."

Mr. Short spoke about financial inclusion and the launch of He also discussed the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) on MEC's campus.

Medgar Evers College

IN2NYC, an initiative of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), is the first municipal program in the nation helping international entrepreneurs access visas so they can create jobs in the U.S. IN2NYC is helping selected entrepreneurs gain access to the visas they need to grow their businesses in New York City, and will create more than 700 jobs for New Yorkers in the first three years alone.

"Dr. Jo-Ann Rolle's strategy of creating an experiential and inclusive entrepreneurship program at MEC's School of Business is proving incredibly effective with a number of compelling success stories," said Mr. Short. "By engaging with communities locally and globally, Dean Rolle creates truly unique opportunities for her entrepreneurship students."

To learn more about about entrepreneurship programming at MEC, click here. Founder Invited to UN for Global Summit Hosted by MIT

Pictured on the right:  Chairman & CEO  W. Michael Short

Pictured on the right: Chairman & CEO W. Michael Short

NEW YORK CITY (March 7, 2017) - Founder W. Michael Short was invited to the United Nations to participate in a summit hosted by MIT's SOLVE Initiative. SOLVE  MIT.jpg

SOLVE was founded at MIT in 2015, a natural offshoot of MIT’s commitment to open technological innovation, and its long commitment to actionable thought leadership in the public sphere. The mission of SOLVE is two-fold: (1) Identifying the best solutions to specific, actionable challenges through open innovation, & (2) Building and convening a community of leaders and change-makers committed to partnering together to pilot and implement these solutions. To learn more about MIT's SOLVE initiative and their work, click here. Highlighted for Economic Impact at White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 2016) - was highlighted for economic impact and small business development at the Obama White House. During 2016, the Obama White House Office of Social Innovation & Civic Participation advised on the platform's launch. White House Financial Inclusion Economic Impact.png has 4 major metrics developed with Clinton Foundation as part of its $100 million Clinton Global Initiative sponsored initiative known as a "Commitment to Action:"

  1. Businesses Assisted
  2. Funding Facilitated
  3. Jobs Created
  4. Economic Impact

Businesses Assisted

In 2017/2018, our team at is helping at least 1,000 small businesses access low-cost financing from transparent and responsible community lenders. In 2019, with the help of additional technologies and growing market awareness, will help 10,000 small businesses access low-cost financing

Funding Facilitated:

In 2017/2018, will facilitate access to low-cost financing with a collective origination value of over $100 million. In 2019, the platform will facilitate access to low-cost financing with a collective origination value of roughly a billion dollars. The "funding facilitated" metric is measured and reported in keeping with our 2016 Clinton Foundation sponsored initiative known as a "Commitment to Action."

Economic Impact:

Assuming an economic impact multiple of $3 of economic impact for every $1 in low-cost financing facilitated via the platform to underserved small businesses, will generate $300 million in economic impact nationally in 2018 and $3 billion in economic impact nationally in 2019. As the platform grows, so too will the platform's significant and compounding economic and community impact.

Jobs Created:

The number of jobs created by funding facilitated by our platform will grow from 540 jobs in 2017/2018 to 5,149 jobs in 2019. The job creation metric is based on US SBA data showing that, on average, 5.4 new jobs are created for every $1 million in financing received by a small business in the US. Featured by SME Finance Forum

NEW YORK CITY (November 14, 2016) - A new $100 million Clinton Foundation-sponsored platform bidding to take on predatory online lenders by offering America's underserved communities a low-cost alternative, is opening its doors for beta testing. Developed by the Global Social Enterprise Institute (GSEI), uses a proprietary common application and matchmaking software to help it connect individuals, businesses and other organizations with a national network of partner community banks, credit unions and economic development organizations.

Can Level the Playing Field for Entrepreneurs?

Pictured: Janet Davas, founder of Hatch consultancy.

Pictured: Janet Davas, founder of Hatch consultancy.

Excerpt from 11/4/2016 article by Janet Davas at Hatch consultancy. HATCH FinTech NYC Online Lending.png

Small businesses have the power to be a catalyst of transformation for our communities – and our economy. They also employ half of the nation’s private sector workforce and have created roughly two-thirds of net new jobs since 1995. Although interest rates have been kept at historically low levels by the Federal Reserve since the Great Recession began in 2008 in order to spur loan activity and borrowing to grow the economy, a major barrier cited by small businesses – especially non-traditional entrepreneurs – continues to be access to low cost capital.

“These barriers are especially true for women, veteran, and minority-owned companies who tend to be denied credit, receive lesser loan amounts, pay higher interest rates, and continue to remain in need of funding.” Featured at #1 Ranked Maxwell School of Citizenship

Photo Credit: Syracuse University

Photo Credit: Syracuse University

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (October 13, 2016) - Founder W. Michael Short was invited to speak at a Public Diplomacy Symposium hosted by Syracuse University's #1 ranked S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and #1 ranked Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs. Short spoke about the public diplomacy related considerations, challenges, and lessons learned relating to the launch of

Joining Short on the "New Public Diplomacy" panel was Corri Zolli, director of research at the Institute for National Security & Counter Terrorism.

"The prestigious Public Diplomacy Program at Syracuse University is so incredibly impressive and the students and faculty are world class," said Short. "We've had over 250 SU students engaged in our efforts to date and we look forward to building on this strong partnership." Daily Orange.png

Excerpt from the SU Daily Orange (click here for link to article):

The “New Public Diplomacy” panel features Michael Short, founder of Short Enterprises. The company focuses on utilizing “market based solutions” to solve problems related to a wide range of topics, from green infrastructure to urban revitalization and STEM education, Short said in an email.

Short said each of these initiatives involves creating and sustaining “public-private-nonprofit-foundation partnerships, which are a key aspect of public diplomacy.”

The symposium is being held in both Newhouse and Maxwell over the course of two days. The two schools offer a joint public diplomacy program, in which Short is an alumnus.

Short said he was specifically invited to discuss the public diplomacy related aspects associated with launching their financial technology platform, called The platform works to connect small businesses with $100 million in funding by the end of 2018, according to its website.

“I credit my education at Newhouse and Maxwell with providing me with the skills and experiences necessary to launch and grow my firm and our initiatives,” Short said. Recognized for "FinTech Innovation"

NEW YORK CITY (August 1, 2016) - was featured for socially responsible "FinTech Innovation" in the August 2016 Business & Management Review. The paper, titled "Exploring Corporate Social Responsibility with the Global Community," was presented at the International Conference on Business & Economic Development in Paris.

Click here for a link to the Business & Management Review

Excerpt from the Business & Management Review:

"W. Michael Short, founder of Short Enterprises and the Global Social Enterprise Institute, spoke on the importance of building dynamic and cross-sector public-private-nonprofit-foundation partnerships in advancing economic development, inclusive entrepreneurship, and innovation. In order to demonstrate this, Mr. Short highlighted the national financial technology (FinTech) initiative that he is spearheading in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, Ashoka U Commons Accelerator, the White House, various universities, a national network of small business technical assistance providers and financial institutions, among others. The initiative, a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) sponsored “Commitment to Action” developed in the Ashoka U Commons, is focused on addressing a major barrier to growth cited by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs): access to low-cost financing. This will be accomplished with the launch of the nation's first FinTech platform focused on community businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs with a social-impact, mission-driven, or workforce development focus."

Commitment to Action: Financial Inclusion & Economic Empowerment