Olivia Rasmussen (00:00):
Hello and welcome. My name is Olivia Rasmussen and I work as the business development services program manager at mercy Corps. Northwest in this presentation, I’ll be sharing more about the small business support services that we offer our Xi court Northwest. The goal of our work as mercy Corps Northwest is supporting our community and helping it to thrive. We believe in creating positive, systemic change at the individual and community levels. How we take part in this is largely through supporting small business owners with money and knowledge to help grow their dreams. Over our more than 20 years in operation, we’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs distributed millions of dollars into the community. And we continue to build on this work every day.
Olivia Rasmussen (00:49):
Now that I’ve shared a little bit about our team, I’m going to dive in to share more about our small business programs and who we work with. Our small business programs serve small business owners with a focus on micro enterprises, which is defined as businesses with five or fewer employees. We offer services that support entrepreneurs at varieties of growth phases, from idea to existing and offer services targeted directly to each stage. Our services include education classes and funding in the form of grants and loans that support growing and established businesses. The types of businesses we serve are varied and fall across many different areas of the market. We support restaurant owners, medical providers, construction workers, cleaners, artists, and many more. Our services are designed to support small businesses of all types. Our staff speak many languages and we offer assistance in Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and English.
Olivia Rasmussen (01:58):
Now let’s talk more about our business support inaction. Our business support programs fall into three categories, grants, training, and education and loans. Each of these programs tie into one another with opportunities for entrepreneurs to start a business with a grant or loan while receiving education that will help them to make the most of their capital that they’ve secured. Mercy Corps. Northwest education is led by Oregon women’s business center at mercy Corps. Northwest the center offers hundreds of classes each year to entrepreneurs of all gender identities. One of our most popular business services is the mercy Corps Northwest Ida or individual development account program for nearly 20 years. Mercy Corps Northwest has offered grants to help entrepreneurs multiply their savings. As part of the Oregon individual development account program, our individual development accounts or ideas assist Oregonians in money to start or grow a small business by enrolling them in a grant program.
Olivia Rasmussen (03:04):
The program requires grantees to save affordably at 42 to $167 a month for a minimum of six months and maximum of two years, until $1,000 is saved. The $1,000 in savings is then mashed with $5,000 in grant money provided by mercy Corps Northwest for a combined total of $6,000. Graduating participants are also pre-approved for a $1,000 credit building loan through our team. Our idea grants must be used for business purchases only and are available only to low income individuals who are living and operating a small business of five employees or less in the state of Oregon to be eligible. Grantees must have a net worth of less than $20,000. Earn less than 80% of the area meeting income and are required to apply and receive entry into the program to enroll our program opens quarterly for applications and the best way to find the next application period is by visiting our website at NW dot mercy Corp org slash Ida.
Olivia Rasmussen (04:19):
Once you have reviewed the eligibility criteria, you must also finish an education prerequisite. The education prerequisite must be completed within the 12 months prior to the application that you were submitting for your Ida eligible classes include business foundations, one rebuilding your foundations or business plan workshop business courses completed outside mercy Corps. Northwest may also meet the education prerequisites in place of a mercy Corps Northwest business course. We developed our list of prerequisite classes to meet business owners at their current stage of their growth for businesses who are less than a year into business, or still in the idea stages. This is foundations. One offers the basics of starting and growing a business to help entrepreneurs set themselves up for success. The business plan workshop is ideal for business owners who are operating with a business model defined, but looking to hone in their top to bottom plan for their business.
Olivia Rasmussen (05:21):
The class begins with your copy of a business plan and finalize this with a finished product and finally rebuilding your foundations offer support to existing business owners. Typically with more than one year in operation to support with time management, growth planning and sustainability in order to apply for the program, it is necessary to fill out an expression of interest form that astound on our website and mark your calendars for the next application. Data application timeframes are announced one month before opening and all of those fulfilled out an expression of interest will receive an email. Once the date is landed before you apply, be sure you have your required application documents ready to go. Let’s go to a site so I can walk you through where to find the Ida requirements, where to find the application dates and how to fill out your expression of interest.
Olivia Rasmussen (06:21):
You said that we’ll be viewing our Oregon ADA map savings grant program page on the website, scrolling down. You should first find some more general information about the program. You can view a quick video here to meet one of our former Ida participants and hear more about their experience and scrolling down to step one is where you’ll find the majority of information about the program requirements, including eligibility, um, and, and really what requirements must be met in order to apply and be eligible to participate in the program. Please make sure you pay close attention to these requirements. Um, if you apply and have not met the eligibility, your application will not be accepted, scrolling down through step number two, you’ll see more information on completing prerequisite education for the program, as well as information under step three, about applying, please pay close attention to the link here, which is to a very useful document that gives you more information about required documents that you will need to submit with your application steps four and five, a share a little bit more about the process. Once you have been accepted into the program, the process of actually saving and participating scrolling down further, this is where you will find our next application date. Once it is announced, the data itself will be listed here and you will eventually, when the application is about to go live, this link will link you directly to our application itself.
Olivia Rasmussen (08:09):
I also want to call out here our Ida FAQ page, which has a lot of really, really great answers to your burning questions that you might have about the program. So please do take a look at that before reaching out. Lastly, if you are interested in participating in the Ida program and would like to submit an expression of interest form to get on our list, serve, please do that here by clicking the button and filling out our very quick expression of interest form that will then put you on the list to receive updates. When our next application period is announced, I’m going to move, move us back to our presentation. All right, once you have submitted an idea application, you’ll hear in six to eight weeks on
Olivia Rasmussen (08:55):
Whether or not you have been accepted into the program. The application process is competitive and applicants are accepted on a needs basis. Once accepted enrollees are required to save $1,000 complete a business plan and financial education. And in six months to two years, we’ll meet the requirements of their grant, whether or not you make it into the grant program. Our loan program offers funding options for small business owners who are looking to grow their businesses. Our program specializes in serving those who are unable to secure a loan from a traditional institution, such as a bank.
Olivia Rasmussen (09:37):
The first step in getting along with our team is filling out the loan expression of interest form on the website from here, our loan team will reach out and help you understand the process, whether or not you’re eligible for a loan. If you are not eligible, they will be able to give you resources to help you get ready. Our loan program offers products from $500 to $50,000. Typically our loans are a great resource for entrepreneurs who do not qualify for the Ida program or who need additional capital after their grant. Repayment is as little as six months, and we are happy to work with anyone in Oregon or Washington who is current on existing payments has no active bankruptcy or unpaid collections. If you meet these requirements or even if you do not, we recommend you fill out an expression of interest and we will help.
Olivia Rasmussen (10:35):
You know, what the right path is to securing capital. Let’s visit our website where I’ll show you how to locate our loan resources in front of you. You should see our loan page on our website at mercy Corps, Northwest scrolling down. Of course, you’ll foresee here a little bit more detail about the background and the purpose of our loan program you’ll have available to here a quick video of a loan recipient to share more about their story and experience with our loan program. Scrolling down further, you’ll see a little bit more specific details about our loan offerings, including our credit builder loan and our small business loan.
Olivia Rasmussen (11:24):
You’ll also see a link here undertake the next step to our loan FAQ page, which can also help answer some of your burning questions. And at the very bottom, one of the most important parts of this page is our loan expression of interest form, which really is the first step, um, in, in getting you on your path to alone with mercy Corps Northwest. So if you are at all interested in receiving a loan through our program, please do take a moment to fill out this expression of interest, um, which will then be reviewed by a staff member at mercy, from Northwest. And someone will be in touch to discuss your loan with you further.
Olivia Rasmussen (12:03):
So now that we’ve talked through our Ida program a little bit about our loans and our training and education, take a moment to locate yourself on this chart. Are you in the idea phase of your business, the startup phase, or you may be in the existing phase. This chart helps to show by business phase, the offerings that we think might be best for you, including foundations one, our Ida advising and seminars, our loans, and our rebuilding your foundations class. So take a moment to look at this chart and see where you might fit. Now that you’ve reviewed our programs and have a little bit more background on what we have to offer. We encourage you to take the next step by, by looking at this list here and seeing where you might start with our programs to learn more about mercy Corps Northwest and the business development services, including our ID grants. Please do take a moment to visit us online. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about mercy Corps Northwest, and we hope to see you soon.