SEED’s mission is to enhance the economic and social development of distressed communities in the Capital Region by a) fostering small business and job growth through a revolving microenterprise loan fund, b) testing new character-based loan methodologies using character rather than cash, credit and collateral for low-income persons, c) providing comprehensive training in business administration and related skills prior to loan consideration and, d) offering ongoing mentorship and peer support for entrepreneurs during training and after funding is received.
The SEED Program is a character based loan fund developed in a partnership between SEFCU and the University at Albany's Small Business Development Center, School of Business and School of Social Welfare. The program provides character based loans up to $35,000 for start-up and expanding businesses in the Capital Region of NY.
All accepted participants are required to participate in 8 weeks of training prior to their loan proposal. The training classes include business skill development, business plan development, and peer support network. For the Fall 2021 program, all of the training classes will be digital on the Zoom platform.
Following the training classes, each of the participants will pitch their concept to the loan committee for funding consideration. The loan decision is based on the character of the application and the overall business concept.
All of the participants are supported throughout the program by University at Albany including:
The SEED Loan Fund services the Capital District Region of New York. In order to participate in the program and be eligible for funding, the applicant and/or business must be located in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren, Washington, Schoharie, Fulton, Montgomery, Columbia or Greene county in New York.