minority-owned business lending

Helping entrepreneurs of color thrive and helping their communities be more resilient

As New Hampshire's population becomes more diverse, so do its businesses. A recent survey found that one in 14 business owners and proprietors here identifies racially or ethnically as other than Caucasian or White.

These entrepreneurs are solid and resilient. They know their customers. Many are deeply engaged with their neighborhoods and communities. They offer unique products and sometimes even services.

Yet a recent survey of NH business owners found that entrepreneurs of color were much more likely than other business owners to be worried about access to financing, and that their concern had increased in the past year.

Not surprisingly, that led to deep concern about being able to pay bills in a timely way and having to lay off employees.

The Community Loan Fund believes that the diversity of our businesses contributes greatly to our quality of life here, so our Minority-Owned Business Lending (MOBL) provides flexible financing and customized coaching to business owners of color.

The program began with our Greater Manchester-centered Community-Driven Economic Empowerment (C-DEE) initiative, and we're working to expand it across the state.

Some entrepreneurs of color and enterprises we've worked with:

Gail Somers, Yahso Jamaican Grille, Keene
Two dozen refugee farmers, Fresh Start Farms, Manchester, Concord, and Dunbarton
Beatrice and Emmanuel Adekoya, Mercy of God African Market, Manchester
Nicole Sublette, Therapists of Color New England, Manchester
Black Heritage Trail of NH, Portsmouth

Technical assistance makes a huge difference
The owner of Mola Foods needed help with marketing, sales, and organizing her financial reporting. We delivered the training — and the encouragement — she needed to take her business to the next level.

Far from their homes, a fresh start
Three Fresh Start Farms in central NH provide training on land access, production, and marketing to refugees who were farmers and who want to work and contribute financially to their households. Mukhtar Idhow is the Executive Director of the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS), which oversees them.

Mentorship and community means "being seen" for Black entrepreneur
The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund supports entrepreneurs of color like Nicole Sublette of Therapists of Color New England with funding, connections, and mentorship.

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