The Community Finance Challenge (CFC) held on MIT’s campus allowed graduate students from across the country to showcase strategies for bringing small business finance into the 21st century. The teams of up to 5 students each, had to envision and lay out a plan for a for-profit or non-profit organization that finances small businesses in local and regional economies. The teams had to describe the impact, operations, financing, organizational structure, and partnerships strategy.
A few of the main issues in America being targeted by the team presenters included joblessness, shrinking populations, and other socioeconomic cases. Also noted, was the issue of small business not being able to receive loans from banks and therefore lacked the access to flexible capital. Another common concern was creating quality jobs, better communities and assisting underrepresented minority business owners. The winning presentations presented unique approaches and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) structures. The grand-prize winning team presented a strategy to help immigrant entrepreneurs, others were more local community-based ideas.
Advantage Capital participated in the MIT Community Finance Challenge. Advantage Capital, as well as other industry leaders, judged presentations at the event. Chief impact officer Sandra Moore and chief investment officer Scott Murphy were in attendance as part of the judging panel and were very impressed by the presentations. Sandra appreciated the ideas presented addressing the challenges of putting capital to work to help underserved small businesses and communities grow and thrive. Scott was inspired by the excitement and enthusiasm they saw from the teams. He is looking forward to the future changes that will arise from the community-minded presenters.
Advantage Capital provides financing to stable and growing companies in underserved communities. Since 1992, the firm has invested over $2.6 billion in companies across various industries and has helped to create close to 50,000 jobs.