Nebraska Enterprise Fund
The Nebraska Enterprise Fund supports Nebraska and South West Iowa micro and small businesses by providing capital, training, and one-on-one business mentoring. these services
are provided primarily to underserved entrepreneurs that are starting or growing businesses that retain and create local jobs. These businesses typically are not yet bankable for multiple reasons including the following: limited experience or time in business, start-up businesses, challenged credit histories, and/or limited collateral among other issues. Often these businesses need extra business support via technical assistance and training to equip them with the ability to better plan, manage, and grow their businesses. NEF has found this is particularly true of businesses run by women and persons of color. Historically, this entrepreneurial class has had less access to capital and quality business support.
Of NEF’s lending activities, between 60% to 65% of loan are placed with Black and Brown owned businesses each year. Over 70% of attendees to NEF’s trainings are women and/or persons of color. Over 70% of NEF’s clients are low to moderate income earners. Nearly 100% of clients are between 18 and 67 years. In Omaha, Nebraska, where the majority of NEF’s work takes place, the primary focus is with Black and Brown businesses. North Omaha is traditionally known for its African-American population (47.1%) and has a poverty rate of 32.4% compared to 12.4% for Nebraska and median family income of $39,266 compared to the state’s $69,207. South Omaha and the Latinx community has a 24.4% poverty rate and median family income of $49,635.
In the most recent year ending June 30, 2020 NEF disbursed $1.7MM to 51 businesses creating and retaining 194 jobs. Eighteen (18) were to start-ups. Three thousand, eight hundred seventy-eight (3,878) participants attended training sessions on a variety of business topics serving 1,290 individuals. Three thousand five hundred ninety-six (3,596) one-on-one coaching sessions were provided to 899 entrepreneurs supporting business start-ups and growth.