Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of on-line business loans and resources for women to grow their micro businesses into $million enterprises.
The first online microlender, CMI uses a unique women friendly credit scoring system to make loans of $500-$45,000 available to women across the United States who have nowhere to turn for that all-important first business loan for start up or growth. Since inception, CMI has loaned out more than $2.84 million and helped more than 700 women increase contacts, skills and confidence.
Count Me In provides micro loans from $500 to $45,000 to women who are starting or growing their businesses. Count Me In loans can be used for working capital, purchase of inventory or equipment, marketing materials for a sales event, or other uses that will help the business generate cash. Potential applicants can visit either of CMI’s websites for detailed information and application tips. See: www.countmein.org and www.makemineamillion.org.
In addition to lending, CMI offers an abundance of resources and technical assistance through both of their web sites. These sites offer a series of questions to help applicants assess whether they qualify for a loan, and, if not, CMI offers online resources to help them become qualified.
Make Mine a Million $ Business™ Program
This program, for women business owners who have been established for at least 2 years, provides a combination of money, mentoring, marketing and technology tools that women entrepreneurs need to help grow their businesses to a million dollars in revenues and beyond.
Investments by individuals, as well as institutions such as the Calvert Foundation, provide the lending capital to CMI.
Use of the Internet makes it possible for CMI to make loans to women across the US, including rural communities and remote towns that do not have local micro-loan funds. CMI has made over 700 loans to women in all 50 states. Most of the women who receive CMI loans have an annual income of less than $35,000; 65% are Caucasian, 16% are African American, 10% are Hispanic, 6% are Asian and 3% are Native American. Loan recipients range in age from 18 to 80 years old.
Since its inception in 1999, CMI has made more than 700 loans to a geographically and ethnically diverse group of women, who come from all 50 states in the US. Nearly 40% of the women are of color and range in age from 18 to 80. These loans amount to more than $2.8 million and have been used effectively to help loan applicants start and expand their small businesses. Once a loan is paid off in full, women are able to apply for a second loan.
After her wedding cake showed up wrong - Sherry knew that there was a need for someone who could really fulfill a bride's wishes. She knew she could do it - she had studied art while growing up. To Sherry, a cake is not just a cake - it's a sculpture. They told her she was crazy, "No business can survive just selling cakes." So she introduced cookies and bars aka Beastly Bakes. Full Story