While the federal government does not provide grants for starting or growing small businesses, it does provide a myriad of services to assist entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. One of the mechanisms in place to promote small business growth and economic development is the Community Development Financial Institution Fund managed by the US Department of the Treasury. In the current fiscal year the federal government is allocating more than $12 Million to support CDFIs.
Community Development Financial Institutions fall into four categories:
The genesis of the Community Development Financial Institution Fund was the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The reason for the fund's existence is to foster economic revitalization and community development.
The Recovery Capital Loans Program provides financial assistance to small business with less than 500 employees to obtain a deferred payment loan from the agency, in order to meet existing debt payments, thereby giving the business the opportunity to refocus their business strategy.
The The Minority Business Development Agency has recently constituted the Minority Business Enterprise Centers (MBEC) Program wherein it aims to support minority-owned businesses by providing them with electronic and one-on-one business development services for a reasonably nominal fee.
The Republic of Rwanda has been picked as one of the six African countries as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund program designed at supporting social entrepreneurs in tackling issues on food security.