In partnership with The Michigan Small Business Development Center, Austin, Texas-based Able Lending, an online lending platform for small businesses, is committing $5 million to fund Michigan businesses, particularly startup enterprises and budding entrepreneurs.
The lender, which is meeting with small business owners in Flint, Grand Rapids, and Owosso this week, is working with the center to identify key entrepreneur hot spots in Michigan and to provide training to entrepreneurs on how to best access capital.
“Groups like the Flint office of The Michigan Small Business Development Center and Start Garden in Grand Rapids provide the perfect breeding ground for new and existing entrepreneurs,” says Evan Baehr, president and co-founder of Able. “Able is proud to come alongside the Michigan entrepreneur ecosystem to help fund more deserving businesses.”
Baehr says the platform is ready to deploy the $5 million immediately to an estimated 20 Michigan-based companies across a range of industries.
The platform offers three different loan options: Able Start, Able Growth, and Able Refi. The majority of the loans are partially funded by backers, which include friends, family, and fans of the borrower.
For startup businesses, the company’s Able Start loan lets entrepreneurs create a loan with a custom rate and repayment schedule, which is then 100 percent crowdfunded through the Able platform.
For growing companies, the platform offers Able Growth loan, which allows small business owners to raise a portion of their loan through backers, which the platform matches up to 10 times.
Meanwhile, Able Refi allows small business owners to refinance high-interest rate loans into longer-term, lower-coast loans from Able Lending.
Launched in July 2014, Able Lending has funded more than 100 small businesses across the country in industries ranging from consumer goods, technology, apparel, breweries, packaged food, and more. The platform is available in 41 states.