The Academy for Green Microenterprise Development has received second year PRIME funding, creating two slots for green business development program assistance. Each participant will receive one-on-one technical assistance and guidance in developing a green lending and technical assistance program for their clients. We are looking for organizations who lend to low income and disadvantaged entrepreneurs. To apply, please email Elizabeth Penney at penney@aceloans.org. Applications are due November 30, 2010.

ACE

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Academy for Green Microenterprise Development

Funded by U.S. Small Business Administration PRIME Program

Background

ACE, based in Cleveland, Georgia, is an SBA Microloan Intermediary and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  ACE founded Georgia Green Loans ( HYPERLINK “http://www.georgiagreenloans.org” www.georgiagreenloans.org) in 2008 to help small Georgia businesses “green-ovate.” With two other CDFI partners, ACE provides Green Loans in North Georgia and Metro Atlanta.

ACE has received a grant from the U.S Small Business Administration Program for Investments in Entrepreneurs (PRIME) Program for the Academy for Green Microenterprise Development.   Based on a Request for Proposals (RFP), ACE, in partnership with Friedman Associates, will select two (2) microenterprise development organizations (MDOs) that serve predominantly low-income individuals, to help them develop a plan to build programmatic and organizational capacity in green microlending, training and/or technical assistance.  Consulting services include technical assistance and/or training; support in the development of green business services and/or the institutional capacity to fund, develop and manage these services; and distance learning activities.

Eligibility Requirements

An eligible applicant is an MDO that is actively seeking to build or strengthen capacity in business development services and lending for low-income clients seeking to capture green business opportunities.   Selected MDOs must meet the following requirements:

Operates as a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization;

Provides microenterprise development programs and services to low-income individuals as a primary part of its mission.  These services include, but are not limited to, entrepreneurial training, technical assistance and access to capital.

Organization Participation Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in developing a green microenterprise program and demonstrate tangible initial steps taken to achieve that goal.  .

The value of these consulting services to your organization is $15,000.  While there is no fee to participate in this program, your organization must be willing to commit to the following:

Demonstrate their willingness to engage with ACE consultants to develop and/or implement the capacity to provide green microenterprise development services to their low-income clients;

Participate in distance learning opportunities;

Provide an in-kind match in the form of staff salary to participate in the project; and

Provide aggregate-level client data to SBA.

Review Criteria

Preference will be given to MDOs that:

Demonstrate a record of accomplishments in providing a strong level of microenterprise services to low-income clients.

Demonstrate a commitment to increasing program performance and effectiveness through innovation and capacity building.

Demonstrate an understanding of the “green economy” and the opportunities its presents to their clients, and evidence of a preliminary program strategy.

Demonstrate commitment to participating in an objective process to help improve program services, performance and organizational capacity.

Provide an assessment of their strengths and areas for improvement in their program.

Offer a compelling vision for the future of their organization.

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