Halcyon launches microloan fund to support social entrepreneurs

Halcyon launches microloan fund to support social entrepreneurs

Halcyon launches microloan fund to support social entrepreneurs
Halcyon Fellows can apply for loans up to $10,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 1, 2021) – Halcyon today announced it is piloting a new microloan program designed to support social entrepreneurs seeking to infuse capital into their impact-driven business ventures. The Halcyon Microloan Fund, made possible by the Kimsey Foundation, will provide loans totaling $100,000 to Halcyon ventures in the Washington region that want an alternative to traditional funding vehicles for early-stage businesses, like friends and family rounds or bank loans.

To be eligible for microloans, ventures must demonstrate a connection between the requested funds and specific capital needs that, when met, will serve to increase revenue. The applicant must be a current or past participant in Halcyon’s fellowship programs. With low interest rates, delayed repayment terms, and no credit check or collateral needed, these microloans are designed to be more effective in supporting entrepreneurs’ goals than other funding options.

“We’re always looking for new ways to support Halcyon ventures, and there’s no question that funding – and more varied options for funding – have been at the top of their list of needs for a long time,” said Dahna Goldstein, Halcyon’s Chief Investment Officer. “We’re very aware that not every fellow has friends and family to raise funds from, not every fellow is seen as an ideal candidate for CDFIs, and Halcyon wants to be a part of filling that funding gap for ventures and founders we know and believe in.”

The Halcyon Microloan Fund joins a growing portfolio of funding vehicles Halcyon has introduced in recent years to address funding gaps specific to social ventures, and also to founders of color and women founders, both groups that represent the majority of Halcyon’s fellows. In 2019 Halcyon announced an Angel Network funding impact-driven businesses, and the public announcement of a third project already underway is forthcoming.

“There are promising impact-driven businesses in the D.C. area limited in their growth because traditional funding methods don’t work for them, and we want to be a part of the solution,” said Michael Kimsey, Executive Director of the Kimsey Foundation. “Halcyon’s Fellows exemplify passionate, talented, mission-oriented business leadership, and a microloan fund is a tool that’s proven effective in providing the support they need.”

The first microloan, issued today, will provide 2020 Opportunity Intensive Fellow Anika Hobbs, founder of Nubian Hueman, with funds to expand inventory and market her Washington, D.C.-based venture, which began as a brick and mortar store selling products from Black designers. “Considering all that we face and have been through, these are the right funds at the right time for my business,” said Hobbs, “I appreciate Halcyon and the Kimsey Foundation for recognizing that it takes a variety of funding options for a startup founder to keep their venture growing and thriving.”

Halcyon’s Social Enterprise Ecosystem Report noted in 2019 that many cities with robust networks of social entrepreneurs do not have similarly built out funding opportunities and investor networks. Among those is Washington, D.C., where Halcyon is based and where many of its fellows, including all participants in the Opportunity Intensive program, are located.

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About Halcyon

Halcyon accelerates the impact-driven future of business. We believe there is a competitive advantage to having a social mission in an organization’s DNA, and that impact-driven businesses represent a powerful opportunity to drive equity and inclusivity in the workplace and society. Halcyon’s first residential fellowship program for social entrepreneurs launched in 2014, and today that program is joined by intensive fellowship programs tailored for entrepreneurs from specific regions, sectors, or demographics. In 2019, Halcyon announced the Halcyon Angels, the first in a set of funding vehicles designed to close funding gaps for social entrepreneurs, women founders, and founders of color. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Halcyon is based in Washington, D.C., with fellows on six continents impacting millions of lives around the world. http://halcyonhouse.org, @halcyoninspires