Since 2001 MEDIC has provided more than $3 million dollars in lending to our partners in developing nations in Africa and Southeast Asia reaching more than 10,000 different micro business clients, schools, cooperatives, and small businesses. In 2010 MEDIC decided to utilize its international expertise and launch a small pilot micro business program in the Akron area.
A small charming organic eatery known as Ms. Julie’s Kitchen was provided an expansion loan as the first in the pilot project. This business was recognized as an innovator in sustainable practices for small business. Also a nonprofit ministry was funded through the loan fund and this too was successful and featured on the cover of the Akron Beacon Journal. Both of these businesses have successfully paid back their loans.
Small businesses with five employees or fewer make up 85 percent of all businesses in the United States. Yet, an estimated 10 million of these businesses report insufficient access to the loans they need to start or grow. This troubling trend has left too many microentrepreneurs unable to reach their full potential, forcing some to shut their doors.
Akron Sustainable Community Loan Fund
MEDIC created the Akron Sustainable Community Loan Fund, intended to serve the historically under invested and under resourced areas and projects in the Akron and Summit County region. The fund provides various types of loans and lines-of-credit which provide “gap” financing for business job creation projects that have sustainable community impact value, but may not be able to source traditional financial institutions for all of the financing needs.
Today, the fund promotes innovative Community Impact Investing. This type of impact investing provides training and lending in a full spectrum of impactful economic and community development projects, businesses, schools, day care facilities, affordable housing, green initiatives, healthy foods based businesses, and co-operative production initiatives that enhance sustainable lives and sustainable development both locally and globally.