Indiana State University Newsroom



Business Engagement Center to offer microloans

July 20, 2018

Indiana State University's Business Engagement Center has finalized an agreement with nonprofit lender Bankable to provide microloans to small and startup businesses in west central Indiana.

The microloan agreement will allow for approximately $400,000 in funding to be used exclusively for businesses and startups in the Wabash Valley, with loans ranging from $500 to $50,000.

There will be a loan loss reserve for every loan that is made, with Indiana State providing $30,000 that will be matched by Bankable to help support the microloans.
In 2016, Daniel Pigg, director of the Business Engagement Center, began exploring ways to better serve clients who are looking for funding for new business ventures.

"This should be an economic driver for this area by providing people more access to funding to create businesses and jobs. The great thing about this program is that it is open to anyone in the community," Pigg said. "I took the idea to Launch Terre Haute, the Small Business Development Center and local bankers, and they agreed that there is a need for this program to help our small businesses."

Since 2010, Bankable has made more than 550 business loans totaling nearly $19 million. The Bankable Loan Program through the Flagship Enterprise Center is a public-private partnership with the city of Anderson, state of Indiana and multiple federal agencies on the public side and Anderson University serving as the private sector representative.

"The idea is to help small businesses that are not able to get a bank loan yet, often because they are early stage startups. Maybe there is a credit issue or the bank could be uncomfortable loaning to a particular type of business," said Adam Hoeksema, executive director of the Bankable Loan Program. "The kinds of industries that we assist are across the board, from service to product-based companies, but about 50 percent of our loans are made to companies that have been in business for less than two years."

As a nonprofit Small Business Administration microlender, Bankable has been lending to small businesses throughout Indiana since 2010. The Indiana State partnership will expand Bankable's lending into Terre Haute and surrounding areas and handle loan decisions, while businesses will receive hands-on support and assistance through the Business Engagement Center.

Loan applications are expected to start being accepted through Bankable.org in September, and applicants should receive a response within five days.

While it is a simple online process to apply, Pigg recommends business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in the loan program meet with advisors at the Small Business Development Center at Indiana State or the Business Engagement Center and finalize a business plan before applying for a loan in order for applicants to have the best chance of success.

"As part of the Division of University Engagement, the Business Engagement Center needs to push ideas like this to encourage entrepreneurship and business startups and give them the best opportunity to succeed, which includes their availability to get funding," Pigg said. "If they can come by funds when they otherwise couldn't, then we're doing our part to help point them in the right direction and sharing our resources, which this program will allow us to do."

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Contact: Daniel Pigg, director, Business Engagement Center, Indiana State University, daniel.pigg@indstate.edu

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or betsy.simon@indstate.edu

 

Story Highlights

Indiana State University’s Business Engagement Center has finalized an agreement with nonprofit lender Bankable to provide microloans to small and startup businesses in west central Indiana.

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