The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) along with partners Bank of America, FORTUNE and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today the open call for applications for the Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, which educates investment-ready urban companies about sources of growth capital and matches them with potential investors. The eighth annual ICCC capital training workshop will be held in Detroit on Wednesday, October 24 and will include educational sessions about different forms of capital, including angel investments, venture capital, bank, lines of credit, and factoring. Entrepreneurs will receive mentoring from both debt and equity providers on how to effectively communicate with capital providers. Entrepreneur participants will then have the opportunity to pitch their businesses to debt providers and equity investors at the ICCC National Matching Day, to be held in New York City on Friday, November 9. ICCC is free for companies that qualify for the program.
ICIC President and CEO Mary Kay Leonard said the program "helps open the door" to financial options that urban entrepreneurs 'had limited or no access to previously." She cited a study that found 71 precent of inner-city businesses have only a quarter of the capital they need to compete in their industries.
"Small businesses located in America's urban cores are central to the economic vitality of the country," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "Supporting urban entrepreneurs' access to growth capital is a key component of SBA's mission."
The deadline for applications is October 19, 2012. Eligible companies must be: headquartered in or have 51% or more of a physical operations presence in an economically distressed urban area; and be a for-profit corporation, partnership or proprietorship with revenues of more than $2 million in 2011 or have 40% of their employees located in an economically distressed urban area. More than 1,500 companies were nominated for last year’s ICCC program, with 171 accepted from various industries including technology, business services and manufacturing. This year, ICCC hopes to select 180 investment-ready companies for participation. Since the launch of the ICCC program in 2005, approximately 370 inner city companies and 150 equity providers have been selected to participate. Participating companies have raised more than $406 million in capital – 90% of which was raised within two years of participation. In addition, ICCC companies have created or helped to create 2,790 jobs and on average hire 38% of their workforce from within the inner city.
If this program interests you or a business that you know of, the application be found by clicking here.