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Press Release

Anonymous gift launches micro-lending program


Posted: July 8, 2009



(Denver, Colo.) — Promising ideas can make for great businesses with the proper planning and start-up funding, according to Metropolitan State College of Denver Center for Innovation Director Mick Jackowski.

To ensure that entrepreneurs have the proper foundation, the Center has formed an alliance with The Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI’s) to provide a micro-lending program. The initiative, launched with a $25,000 anonymous gift to the Center, is scheduled to start in September.

Popular among developing countries, micro-lending is part of a new trend among higher education institutions to provide financing for community and student start-ups. The programs can also help higher education institutions meet their missions. It’s of particular significance to institutions serving diverse and underserved population, says Jackowski.

“With our vision of being an urban land grant institution, we’re about creating opportunities so that people can succeed,” says Jackowski. “We’re about creating opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs that show us viable business plans. We want to help you get it off the ground.

"It’s important for entrepreneurs to understand that they can accomplish a lot with small amounts of capital.”

Loans will range from $250 to $1,000, and be distributed once a quarter, with the earliest distribution set for January 2010. The terms will be for six month, with an interest rate of nine percent. The loan is considered a builder loan and loan repayment will be reported through RMMFI’s partnership with Credit Builder’s Alliance. When micro-loans are repaid, program borrowers will be eligible to receive increasing loan amounts.

This alliance represents a tremendous opportunity for Denver’s community entrepreneurs, says Executive Director of Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute Rob Smith. “Through the cross-promotion of our programs and access to the new loan fund, Denver will see positive impacts on credit scores, new business startups, and ultimate business success.”

Pre-requisites for the loan include taking any combination of three courses from an approved list of businesses development courses offered by the Center for Innovation or RMMFI. To learn more about the Center for Innovation, go to http://www.metrostateinnovate.org/ or contact Angelia McGowan at 303-556-5133.

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About Metropolitan State College of Denver

Metro State is a fully accredited, four-year institution, serving more than 21,700 students. It is Colorado’s leader in educating in-state undergraduates and is one of the largest four-year public colleges in the nation. Metro State enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 63,000 alumni, the bulk of whom stay in Colorado after graduation. Visit Metro State at www.mscd.edu.