Urban Advisors was engaged to structure a Program Related Investment (PRI) to Northern Economic Initiatives (NI), a Northern Michigan- based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). NI serves as the lender of last resort to small-undercapitalized businesses in Northern Michigan towns and rural communities. NI is a micro and small business lender that plays an active role in providing financing and technical assistance to local small businesses in underserved rural markets.
Since inception, NI has made nearly 600 loans totaling over $31 million. 40% of loans were allocated to women- owned businesses and 50% of loans were to start up businesses. Northern Initiative’s business advancement services provide technical assistance, training and consulting to over 100 businesses annually. NI has built region-wide collaborations throughout the Northern Michigan community in an effort to promote its work. Northern Initiatives serves 46 counties in rural Michigan and five counties in rural Wisconsin.