Social Entrepreneurship 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. 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.

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.”

Newhouse School & Alumnus Develop National Entrepreneurship Initiative (W. Michael Short Founder) FinTech Small Business Lending

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (October 24, 2014) - The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and Short Enterprises have partnered to establish the Startup Insider Initiative, a network supporting entrepreneurs throughout the United States. The Initiative's primary focus will be to design and launch, a new platform that will streamline access to business financing from trusted community lenders, providing the first alternative to the proliferation of predatory online lenders. The platform will be committed to financial inclusion, working with business owners in underserved communities who don't have access to low-cost financing.