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.
The SEED Program was developed to provide future and current entrepreneurs with capital to start/expand their business. Selection for participation in the program and loan awards is based on the overall business concept and the character of the applicant. The program provides participants with the necessary business model development and business skill development to be successful with their business and are supported by a Business Advisor from the Small Business Development Center, a professor and MBA intern consultants from the University at Albany's School of Business and a peer support network facilitated by the University at Albany's School of Social Welfare.
All accepted participants are required to participate in 10 weeks of training prior to their loan pitch. The training classes include business skill development, business plan development, and peer support network.
The Spring 2022 program is planned to be held in-person at the ETEC building on the University at Albany campus. In the event that Covid protocols prevent the program from operating in-person, the program will be transitioned into a virtual model.
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:
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 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.