Chicago Urban League Panel on Access To Capital

Went down to the south side and sat on a panel with others.  The title was “Access to Capital”.  The other panelists included bankers, microlenders, and community lenders.  The Chicago Urban League hosted the panel.

The audience was entrepreneurs.

We had a very frank discussion.  Access to capital is a real problem for a lot of these entrepreneurs.  I saw so many parallels between what they were going through and what entrepreneurs doing scalable startups go through.

They deal with failure, business plans, and getting told “no” a lot.

Some of the problems were different.  For example, when a scalable startup deal is looked at, we don’t look at the personal credit rating of the founder-although it might be a good idea!  Bankers do, since they are relying on the personal creditworthiness of the individual.

The bankers and I commiserated about how to help each other.  Hopefully we will figure out some next steps.

In your own community, it’s critically important to get everyone hitting on all cylinders when it comes to startups. Some can concentrate on scalable big businesses.  Some can concentrate on lifestyle businesses.  Both are important.

One entrepreneur mentioned the recession, and how it affected everything.  We see eye to eye, since in my opinion the recession never really ended.  Only sustained GDP above 3% will break the back of this recession.

This is the new malaise.  Only forward thinking, risk taking, believe in themselves, entrepreneurs can lift us out of it.

Upon returning home I made a stop.  I highly recommend Abundance Bakery on 47th and Michigan.  The Peach Cobbler is excellent.  So is the apple fritter.  I will be back.


This video is informative with regard to microlending.  That is access to capital, but it’s pretty expensive access!  Dodd-Frank has killed community banking.  Microlending is a bridge for startup businesses.  The way to improve a community and create jobs is through lifestyle entrepreneurial businesses.  Too bad so many hurdles are in the way, and many artificially put there by the government.

The parallels to startup entrepreneurs are there. See if you can find them.


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