Wilmington, DE Micro Loan Program

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Wilmington, DE, US

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Type: Program

Status: In Effect

Source File: http://www.ci.wilmington.de.us/microloan.htm


What is the MICRO LOAN Training Program?

The Micro Loan Training Program is a business training program for persons interested in developing small businesses. It provides core instruction to the elements needed to produce a business plan and also covers finances, advertising, market research, cash flow projections and business management. As part of the program, emphasis is placed on developing leadership skills, improving communications, time management, organizational skills and building self-esteem.

The Goal of the Program is to be the conduit for access to capital and entrepreneurial training for self empowerment. Its strategic goal is to help reduce the number of failed businesses and increase the number of successful small businesses in the City of Wilmington.

The Training Program is under the umbrella of the Micro Enterprise Program, which is located within the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. The Micro Loan Program is an innovative program that provides technical assistance, entrepreneurial training and provides access to lending barriers for individuals interested in starting or expanding a business in the City of Wilmington. Participants are scheduled to attend a designated training period, which concludes with the completion of a business plan. The Program is sponsored and funded by the City of Wilmington. Instructional training is in partnership with various business resources, DCRAC, Delaware Technical & community College, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), First State Community Loan Fund, SBA, and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) as well as business persons from the greater Wilmington area.

Weekly topics include, but are not limited to, marketing, sales, cash projections, customer service, cash management, computer applications, and forecasting.

In general, Micro Loan Program borrowers must:

  • have a for-profit business startup.
  • be newly established or growing concern business.
  • have their business located in the City of Wilmington.
  • use proceeds for working capital or acquisition of materials, supplies, furniture, fixtures or equipment.
  • benefit low/moderate income persons.
  • meet income eligibility for low/moderate income individuals as established by the Federal Government.

Micro Enterprise Program

An entrepreneurship training and education program focusing on four key areas of business development: management, ownership, franchising and business incubation. Limited retail spaces in the Business Incubation Program exist. Interested in managing and developing your business contact the Micro Enterprise Division, at (302) 576-2126.

Micro Loan Lending (Projected 2007)

The program can assist with loan referrals and loan packaging to various financial institutions. Future plans include micro lending to participants who complete the program. The desired Micro Loan lending range is around $500 to $5,000. Although higher needs may be considered, the intended emphasis of the Micro Loan Program is to serve lesser needs and short term equipment or supplies needs. Typical loans can be 3 - 5 years in length. Loan rates are fixed (variable) for the length of the loan. Typical fixed rate is at 7%. Loans may require collateral, although the type of collateral may vary from the use of the loan proceeds. (note: Lending information is subject to change depending upon the lending institution).

Graduation Program

Upon completion of the ten week Micro Loan Program, participants receive program certifications during graduation ceremonies. The Mayor provides the keynote address and welcomes emerging entrepreneurs. Participants who are ready for launching their business will be interviewed for participation within the City’s Retail Incubator Program.

Micro Loan Program Entrepreneurial Series

  • How to determine whether you have the entrepreneurial spirit needed to prepare a plan.
  • How to get the funding needed to start your business.
  • How to handle accounting details such as cash budgeting, statements, and tax regulations.
  • How to determine who your customers are - to promote your business to your target audiences.
  • How to handle the personal stress of owning and operating a business and manage your time.
  • How to get and keep good employees, legal obligations and benefits needed to succeed.
  • How to succeed in your business through expanding knowledge and help from organizations.
  • How to market your products or services.

Participants are educated to understand that a well conceived business plan is the foundation of long-term success in any business venture.