FINANCE

Mainvest Now Listed on Meta’s Small Business Funding Resource as a Source Funding

Mainvest | March 30, 2022

Small Business Funding
Mainvest partners with Meta and is listed on Meta's Small Business Resource as a source of funding. Mainvest is the investment platform connecting small businesses with local investors. Meta established its Small Business Funding section in 2021 to link SMBs to purpose-driven grant and loan possibilities, business resources, and small business networking groups. With the advent of Mainvest, SMBs may now explore alternate funding choices that support their community engagement and long-term growth.

Mainvest is a regulated crowdfunding platform according to Regulation Crowdfunding, which was enacted under Title III of the JOBS Act in 2016. Mainvest, as a non-traditional source of finance, decreases capital access obstacles and provides a more flexible choice for SMBs at all stages:
  • There is no requirement for credit checks or personal guarantees
  • There is no dilution of ownership as a result of the debt-based structure. Note on Revenue Sharing
  • Repayments are based on revenue rather than a fixed interest rate
  • Since debt is subordinated, it is easily combined with traditional sources of funding

Small brick-and-mortar businesses should be aware of Mainvest as a source of capital that does not need them to engage private equity investors or take on additional term loans. Businesses may also increase consumer loyalty and marketing buzz by launching a fundraising drive.

"We're excited to engage with a wider audience of SMB's on Meta's platform and to help them unlock the ability to raise funds from community investors. Furthermore, we're seeing that investors are excited about the chance to invest in brick and mortar SMBs, so it's a win-win for businesses seeking funding and investors seeking new opportunities."

Nick Mathews, Mainvest CEO

Spotlight

The Center of Excellence (CoE) for Veteran Entrepreneurship creates, collects, organizes, and shares knowledge, resources, and networks to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and their families. The CoE is designed to be, and functions as, the hub of veteran business ownership. The CoE leverages Syracuse University resources, networks, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and their partners and pulls together relevant stakeholders into a cohesive ecosystem focused on veteran- and spouse-owned small business.


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FINANCE

Lenovo Awards $100,000 in Grants to Minority-Owned Small Businesses Across Ontario

Lenovo | February 09, 2022

Today, Lenovo announced the ten Ontario-based recipients of its Evolve Small grant program aimed at providing relief to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour-owned (BIPOC) small businesses navigating the challenges and impact of COVID-19. Issued in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT), each small business will be awarded a CAD $10,000 grant. In addition, Lenovo is providing educational programming to all TRBOT member businesses, to help accelerate their digital adoption. Throughout the two-month application window, TRBOT received a total of 203 small business applicants that met eligibility requirements. All applications were reviewed by a panel of experts from TRBOT and grant recipients were selected based on their ability to demonstrate their business’s equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives and their completion of one or more of TRBOT’s Recovery Activation Program (RAP) streams, an online support and education program designed to help businesses adapt to a more digital world during and after the pandemic. TRBOT launched its Recovery Activation Program (RAP) to help Canadian small businesses adapt to the increasing need for digital adoption that was accelerated by COVID-19. By focusing on attracting customers, improving supply-chain efficiencies, managing workforces virtually, and streamlining costs, RAP provides a comprehensive toolkit to support the long-term success of Toronto’s small business community “As the pandemic continues to impact us all, we recognize that small businesses, and especially minority-owned small businesses, have been hit the hardest and need support to survive and thrive. We hope that the funding provided through the grant program with the Toronto Region Board of Trade will provide relief to some of the businesses who have been impacted the most, and we look forward to seeing how these funds are used to innovate and build for the future.” Colin McIsaac, Vice President and General Manager, Lenovo Canada “The submissions we received show a remarkable range of engaged, passionate women and BIPOC entrepreneurs,” said Leigh Smout, President of the World Trade Centre Toronto. “Each of these grants, which Lenovo has made possible, will allow the recipients to grow their business and, in turn, their already-significant contributions to our regional economy and communities. We are proud to be associated with Lenovo and these amazing business leaders.” About Lenovo Lenovo is a US$60 billion revenue Fortune Global 500 company serving customers in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, we are developing world-changing technologies that power (through devices and infrastructure) and empower (through solutions, services and software) millions of customers every day and together create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. About Toronto Region Board of Trade The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic growth agenda. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region, and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships, and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Umpqua Bank Launches Small Business Empowerment Program With $2 Million To Support Minority, Women Entrepreneurs

Umpqua Bank | February 03, 2022

Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, today announced a new program that expands access to capital, resources, and expertise for minority and women entrepreneurs. Umpqua Bank's Small Business Empowerment Program builds on existing private and public partnerships, including strategic initiatives with numerous business-focused nonprofits and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), to advance economic equality and opportunity for entrepreneurs in historically underserved communities. As part of the program, Umpqua has formed multi-year partnerships with four innovative organizations, each working to remove barriers to key areas of business support, including access to technology, low-cost financing, and technical assistance and expertise: Oregon-based MESO (Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon); Washington-based Business Impact NW; California-based Centro Community Partners and Kiva. According to Umpqua Bank chief marketing communications officer Eve Callahan, the program and newly formed partnerships address an opportunity gap in equitable access to funding and expertise essential to the viability and success of any business, especially those in communities lacking critical resources and support services. "Entrepreneurs and small business owners create incredible opportunity and prosperity in our communities, but historical barriers continue to exist that prevent many from accessing what they need for success. Partnerships that take a multi-faceted, collaborative approach to close this opportunity gap are essential to give every entrepreneur with good ideas and determination a chance to succeed. We're really pleased to announce the Umpqua Bank Small Business Empowerment Program and the strategic partnerships with these terrific organizations. Together, they're advancing some of the most innovative, creative and comprehensive approaches to addressing one of the biggest obstacles to prosperity many communities face." Umpqua Bank chief marketing communications officer Eve Callahan Details of each partnership and how they will enhance access to economic opportunity are as follows: Kiva: Access to Capital. Umpqua, through the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, is establishing an Umpqua Bank Managed Loan Fund, enabling women and minority entrepreneurs in Umpqua's footprint to access matched funds and obtain 0% interest, crowdfunded loans. Kiva utilizes an innovative, character-based lending approach, removing collateral and credit history barriers in gaining access to capital. Funds will revolve for three years, multiplying the investment impact of the loans. Since 2005, Kiva has been a global, transformative leader in supporting women and minority entrepreneurs with crowdfunded loans that unlock capital for the underserved, improve the cost of financial services, and address underlying barriers to financial access. Centro Community Partners: Access to Expertise and Tools. Umpqua is funding a significant expansion of Centro's tech hub and a bilingual mobile app for small businesses over the next three years. Centro's innovative, award-winning business planning app provides entrepreneurs with affordable, culturally appropriate and high-impact, enterprise-building tools. In addition, Umpqua is funding the expansion of Centro Capital Hubs in the Bay Area, connecting hundreds of entrepreneurs with 0% Umpqua Bank Managed Loan Fund loans through Kiva. In addition, Centro will also be able to enhance technical assistance capacity for local microenterprise organizations through its E-Suite platform, Learning Management System (LMS) platform, and its Centro App solutions. Centro works with entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO): Geographic Expansion. Umpqua is working closely with MESO to expand services in Southern Oregon. MESO expects to open a satellite office in Jackson County with bilingual loan services and access to new microenterprise tools for a region severely impacted by both wildfires and COVID-19. MESO staff will provide one-to-one culturally specific coaching, credit-building support, technical assistance, and access to a 5:1 matched Individual Development Account (IDA). MESO elevates and empowers historically excluded entrepreneurs with tailored business assistance and flexible capital to build family wealth through business ownership. Business Impact Northwest (BINW): Financial Literacy and Loan Readiness. Recognizing the historic barriers to accessing capital and financial expertise many diverse entrepreneurs face, Umpqua is funding the launch of BINW's new, multi-lingual Loan Readiness Center to provide customized technical assistance that moves entrepreneurs from "loan-ready" to "loan-successful." In addition, BINW will introduce new culturally appropriate loan products that expand access to capital for under-resourced borrowers. BINW provides coaching, education, and access to capital for community small businesses, with an emphasis on working with traditionally underserved populations—entrepreneurial low/moderate income earners, women, BIPOC, veterans, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ+ community. About Umpqua Bank Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the seventeenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Citi to Exit Consumer, Small Business and Middle Market Banking Operations in Mexico

Citi | January 12, 2022

Citi today announced that it intends to exit the consumer, small business and middle market banking operations of Citibanamex as part of its strategic refresh. Citi will continue to operate a locally-licensed banking business in Mexico through its global Institutional Clients Group. Citi has operated in Mexico for more than a century and the country will remain among Citi’s top institutional markets outside of the U.S. Citi will continue to invest in and grow those institutional banking operations, along with its Private Banking franchise. “The decision to exit the consumer, small business and middle market banking businesses in Mexico is fully aligned with the principles of our strategy refresh – we’ll be able to direct our resources to opportunities aligned with our core strengths and competitive advantages, focus on businesses that benefit from connectivity to our global network, and we will further simplify our bank.” Citi CEO Jane Fraser Fraser continued, “Mexico is a priority market for Citi – that will not change. We expect Mexico to be a major recipient of global investment and trade flows in the years ahead, and we are confident about the country’s trajectory. Citi is uniquely positioned to support cross-border capital markets activity and trade flows in and out of Mexico for our institutional clients and we will continue to make material investments in our institutional operations and market-leading hub there.” Citi’s planned divestitures of its consumer businesses across Mexico, Asia and Europe are aligned with the repositioning of its consumer operations to focus on wealth centers globally as well as payments and lending and a targeted retail presence in the U.S. Banco Nacional de México is a leading bank in Mexico with an iconic brand and rich history. Citi has made meaningful investments in this business over the course of the last two decades, greatly enhancing its digital and mobile banking capabilities, strengthening its technology infrastructure, modernizing its branch and ATM network, deepening relationships with key customer segments and advancing its financial inclusion efforts. “The strategy refresh Citi has undertaken will result in a stronger, more focused bank,” said Mark Mason, Citi’s Chief Financial Officer. “We will execute a targeted consumer strategy, double down in wealth, and focus on our higher-returning institutional businesses where we have competitive advantages. Our emphasis is on opportunities where our global network uniquely positions us to support clients who are growing and facing an ever-changing set of complex dynamics around the world.” The businesses in the intended exit include the Mexico consumer and small business banking operations, reported as part of Citi’s Global Consumer Banking segment, as well as the Mexico middle market banking business, reported in Citi’s Institutional Clients Group segment. The Mexico consumer and small business banking operations included in the intended exit represent the entirety of the Latin America Global Consumer Banking unit. In the first three quarters of 2021, the businesses Citi intends to exit together accounted for approximately $3.5 billion in revenue, $1.2 billion in earnings before tax, $44 billion in assets, and $4 billion in average allocated TCE. Additional information about the operations Citi intends to exit in Mexico will be included in the 2021 fourth quarter earnings report on January 14, 2022. A link to Citi’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed today regarding the exit can be found here. The method and timing of Citi’s exit from its consumer, small business and middle market banking operations in Mexico, which could include a sale or a public market alternative, will be determined by Citi and will be aligned with its objectives of maximizing shareholder value and strengthening both the businesses that Citi will exit and those it will retain. The exit process is subject to various conditions and approvals, including applicable regulatory approvals in both the U.S. and Mexico. About Citi Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

IRI and HRB Brands Partner to Drive Category Growth providing support for support for small- to midsize brands

IRI | December 16, 2021

IRI®, a fast-growing, global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, today announced HRB Brands LLC (HRB) is utilizing IRI’s deep category segmentation and demographic profiles to guide its path forward for both its legacy brands and newly acquired personal care brands purchased from Helen of Troy in June 2021. “Our success leans heavily on the insights and tools IRI provides. We are the David among the giants in our categories. IRI helps us compete day in and day out within established segments and channels as well as in new ‘whitespace’ opportunities we’ve discovered,” said Jim Daniels, chief executive officer for HRB Brands. “HRB Brands is on a significant growth trajectory with our retailers. Consumer and economic trends are in our favor, and with IRI’s help we expect to reach our goals faster than was possible before.” Through the partnership, HRB Brands has utilized IRI’s Unify® visualization platform, which brings together multiple, disparate data sources to identify emerging market trends and opportunities. Unify offers a single access point to all IRI Liquid Data® solutions, which aggregate and visualize point-of-sale and de-identified consumer panel data to provide a holistic view of consumer trends and purchase behavior in real time. “IRI’s shopper insights solutions have enabled HRB Brands and other mid-market retailers and manufacturers to develop a deeper understanding of their consumers. By gaining new insights into demographics, segmentation and purchase behaviors, IRI has helped HRB Brands successfully identify opportunities to drive innovation to best connect its portfolio of brands with the varying needs of consumers.” Robert Porod, executive vice president of Mid-Market National for IRI About High Ridge Brands LLC HRB Brands is one of the largest independent branded personal care companies in North America. HRB Brands holds leading market positions in the hair care and skin cleansing categories with iconic brands including ZEST®, VO5®, COAST®, Rave® SGX NYC®, THICKER FULLER HAIR®, Zero Frizz® and LA LOOKS®. HRB Brands is a portfolio company of Tengram Capital Partners. About IRI IRI is a fast-growing, leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC health care organizations, retailers, and financial services and media companies grow their businesses. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated into an on-demand, cloud-based technology platform, IRI is empowering the personalization revolution, helping to guide its more than 5,000 clients around the world in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers, collaborate with key constituents and deliver market-leading growth. About IRI’s Mid-Market Growth Practice The Mid-Market Growth Practice of IRI provides high-tech and high-touch support for small- to midsize manufacturers. Regardless of company size, IRI has a data solution that drives understanding and growth. Companies benefit from access to all the same tested and proven solutions offered to IRI global partners, enabling companies of all sizes to democratize data, streamline analytics and, ultimately, win in the marketplace.

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Spotlight

The Center of Excellence (CoE) for Veteran Entrepreneurship creates, collects, organizes, and shares knowledge, resources, and networks to advance entrepreneurial opportunities for transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and their families. The CoE is designed to be, and functions as, the hub of veteran business ownership. The CoE leverages Syracuse University resources, networks, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and their partners and pulls together relevant stakeholders into a cohesive ecosystem focused on veteran- and spouse-owned small business.

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