The Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) Dollars for Dreams Program
Dollars for Dreams, a community-supported micro-lending program, has been launched by the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) thanks to generous grants from the Flagstaff Community Foundation in collaboration with the Ernest & Evelyn Chilson Foundation, Molly and Joseph Herman Foundation, and GeoFund, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Coconino County and the Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff.
Micro loans have a macro impact. SEDI helps realize the dreams of Flagstaff start-up, existing and home-based businesses lacking access to small amounts of capital by providing up to $5,000 in initial financing and helping them establish and learn about credit. SEDI reports on client loan history to national credit reporting agencies helping clients create a credit record from which they may be able to secure traditional financing in the future. SEDI may make subsequent loans of a higher principal amount to qualified applicants.
Access to small amounts of start-up and operating capital is a significant barrier for many small and entrepreneurial businesses. A recent study showed that 45% of small businesses fail because they are unable to get the loan they need. These businesses form the backbone of our economy. Often, they need less than $5,000 to invest in their business. More than just providing micro-financing, SEDI will provide mentoring on credit and finance to small businesses to help ensure successful repayment of the loan. By assisting in building credit and providing access to capital, SEDI is helping build innovative and creative small home or cottage based business capacity in our community.
SEDI's mission is to "promote sustainable economic prosperity in northern Arizona through ecological health, social equity, and a resilient economy." Dollars for Dreams creates jobs and opportunities in the Flagstaff community recognizing that when given the opportunity, people can make a dramatic positive change in their own lives and in the lives of others.