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 government has launched innumerable programs that are all geared towards the achievement of this goal. Some of these programs involve the provision of technical assistance, training sessions, and strategies that would potentially help business owners in marketing their products and in expanding their businesses.
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.
iTunes U has a variety of courses geared towards social entrepreneurship. With this app, it allows students to have customized learning experiences. Through learning that’s tailored to suit every student aspiring to be a social entrepreneur, SocialEarth.org checks off the top iTunes U courses and classes that are free to take. Some have videos, others have only audio. Take your pick: