Insights into the world of small business lending and development
Introducing Venturize’s New Home: Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is proud to announce it is taking the lead on Venturize.org, an online resource hub for small businesses that need help accessing responsible capital and becoming loan ready. Here’s a little about us and how we plan to take Venturize to the next level.
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy and education organization, founded and run by small business owners to ensure America's entrepreneurs are a key part of an inclusive, equitable and diverse economy. We actively engage small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong, sustainable job-creating economy. Specifically, our Entrepreneurship Program, which we launched in 2015, provides a suite of educational programs and resources to empower individuals to start and grow their enterprises and maximize their economic potential.
Venturize, which is being incorporated into Small Business Majority’s Entrepreneurship Program, currently offers unbiased education and resources to small business owners seeking loans to empower them to make the best financing decision for their business. This program is intended to help all businesses, but especially small business owners who are key economic drivers of their communities—people of color, women and younger entrepreneurs. The platform aims to support these groups because they are critical to growing our economy: for example, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 114 percent over the past 20 years, compared to a 44 percent increase among all businesses. More profoundly, firms owned by women of color grew at more than four times the rate of all women-owned businesses. Yet the growth of these businesses is threatened by lack of capital and resources, as research still shows that minority-owned firms are less likely to receive loans, receive smaller loans when approved and pay higher interest rates than non-minority firms.
Small Business Majority is overseeing Venturize through its next phase to serve this fast-growing segment of the business community and provide even more resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. We plan to continue providing existing tools, while expanding upon content with new educational videos, financial literacy tools and other important resources for entrepreneurs. Small Business Majority also intends to leverage its partnerships with community development financial institutions (CDFIs), business assistance providers and business organizations across the country to bolster their capacity to offer high-quality, personalized assistance and develop a customizable portal that offers a needs-based matching tool to connect entrepreneurs with the right resources.
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) launched Venturize in 2016, and since inception Venturize has engaged an estimated 330,000 small business owners through its educational resources and interactive tools. We will build on OFN’s success as we take Venturize through its next phase, offering even more resources and tools to help close the gap in small business lending.