Northeastern University Aims to Help Black Entrepreneurs

nelogoNortheastern University in Boston has announced a new program aimed at helping entrepreneurs in the area who are women or members of minority racial or ethnic groups. The Impact Lending program will offer loans at below market rates to these entrepreneurs for the purposes of expanding their businesses. The loans can be used for a variety of busi­ness needs, including hiring new staff, obtaining new equip­ment and facil­i­ties, and pur­chasing inventory. The goal of the pro­gram is to serve 85 small busi­nesses and create 330 jobs in the first two years.

The university is committing $2.5 million in seed funding for the project, which it says will allow for a revolving fund of $6.5 million in loans. The uni­ver­sity has part­nered with Local Ini­tia­tives Sup­port Cor­po­ra­tion (LISC), a non­profit organization that pro­vides loans and advi­sory ser­vices to under­served small busi­nesses. LISC will admin­ister and oversee the loans, ranging from $1,000 to $1 mil­lion, with the university’s seed funding serving as a guarantee.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, notes that “Boston is home to a diverse net­work of entre­pre­neurs and small busi­ness owners. Ensuring that these local small busi­nesses are able to expand will con­tribute to Boston’s eco­nomic growth. Diver­sity is key to our city’s suc­cess, and I’m proud to sup­port North­eastern and LISC in the Impact Lending program.”

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