Trustee: Richmond EDA

Richmond, VA

Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
There are two guiding goals for our organization. First, we work to catalyze job creation and economic growth in Richmond; and second, we work to ensure the ongoing financial viability of our facility and programs. We are particularly focused on supporting entrepreneurs in our under-resourced communities, and providing them the social, intellectual and financial capital they require to seize market opportunities. As we roll out a number of new programs, Kiva Zip provides an added tool for providing access to micro-finance for our clients.
What is the mission of your organization?
The mission of our business incubator is to contribute directly to economic growth and job creation by providing an innovative mixed-use facility with a nurturing environment and a support system to help start-up and early stage companies grow and thrive.
In the past, how effective have you been in achieving this mission?
For over ten years, and with over 45,000 square feet of office space in downtown Richmond, we have assisted dozens of entrepreneurs gain access to facilities and shared office space amenities. Our new programs are designed to complement this existing work by building networks of people, enabling the dissemination of information, and new programs to access capital.
Do you belong to any organizational networks -- nationally, regionally, or locally? If yes, please list.
We have begun to play an increasingly important role in the Richmond Start-up ecosystem, and are connected to people around the state through the Virginia Business Incubation Association, and membership in the National Business Incubation Association is currently under consideration.
How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
We will endorse those borrowers who are known to the Richmond EDA as tenants within our incubator, participants in city programs which are referred to us by the city, referrals from members of our Advisory Board, and referrals from the members of the EDA Board of Directors.
How do you plan to support the borrower, both before and after the loan is disbursed?
We are currently rolling out programs to provide mentorship assistance, classroom-based instruction, networking events, as well as our long-standing commitment to providing low-cost office space and office support. “Office Hours” provides people the opportunity to meet with our executive director, and discuss business planning, execution support, introductions to business contacts, and fundraising. “Grow Your Business” is a program to assist existing business owners work within a group atmosphere, and prepare for a small business loan or presentations to local investors. “Founder Series” is a monthly event to hear the lessons of a local entrepreneur, and to build one’s network. Finally, “Build Your Business” is a WIBO-based program that includes a period of 17 weeks of instruction, mentor match-making, and microfinance lending for up to $30,000. Overall, we take an individualized approach to providing our entrepreneurs the right support mix for his/her stage of growth and for their growth trajectory.
How will you help us ensure that the loans you endorse have a significant and positive social impact?
We will ensure that the Kiva borrowers are working within our disadvantaged communities by providing products or services, creating livelihoods, and making their business purchases.

About Richmond EDA

Trustee Type:
Public Sector Agency
First Tier trustee
On Zip Since:
Jul 29, 2013
(37 months)
Loans Endorsed:
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