For Subscribers

Size Doesn't Matter

Sample these microenterprise programs to help you start small.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting small seems especially difficult sometimes, so we wenthunting for some interesting programs to help microenterpriseentrepreneurs get off the ground. Some offer microloan resourcesand help, while others offer classes and counseling to helpnavigate the often unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. Hereare some of the microloan programs in major cities nationwide:

  • Los Angeles:Charo CommunityDevelopment, founded in 1967, provides microenterpriseassistance in both English and Spanish. Open to anyone (not justpeople in the local community), it teaches aspiring entrepreneursto develop a business plan and a marketing plan, and provides themwith access to the internet--at no charge. The 11-week advancedcourse costs $199 to cover materials, but students get weeklyexpert lectures on all aspects of entrepreneurship. Charo alsoserves as the liaison between entrepreneurs and financialinstitutions, and does the legwork with lenders. "Our goal isto be the mecca of economic development," says Cynthia Amador,president and CEO of Charo.
  • New YorkCity:Project Enterprise was founded in 1997 to help buildthe local economy. Microloans range from $750 to $12,000 and areavailable even to entrepreneurs with less-than-perfect credit--theylook at "social collateral." Says Arva Rice, executivedirector, "What we mean [is that] they agree to come to thesemeetings on a biweekly basis, engage with the rest of the group,and invest their time and resources [in] the group." Startupsattend the six-week training and learn to put together an executivesummary, profit and loss statements, income and expense ledgers,and so on.

Continue reading this article — and all of our other premium content with Entrepreneur+

For just $5, you can get unlimited access to all Entrepreneur’s premium content. You’ll find:

  • Digestible insight on how to be a better entrepreneur and leader
  • Lessons for starting and growing a business from our expert network of CEOs and founders
  • Meaningful content to help you make sharper decisions
  • Business and life hacks to help you stay ahead of the curve

Related Topics

Starting a Business

How to Manage Cash Flow for Your Home Pet Business

The new book, 'Start Your Own Pet Business,' explains how to manage critter-based cash flow.

Living

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Business Ideas

How to Make Thousands of Dollars on the Side As a Virtual Assistant

Apply your skills and experience to create a lucrative virtual assistant side hustle or full-time business.

Business News

Disney Will Layoff 7,000 Employees to Save $5 Billion in Costs. "I Do Not Make This Decision Lightly," CEO Bob Iger Says.

The announcement, part of a massive corporate restructuring effort at the company, caused shares to surge.

Business News

Police: 82-Year-Old Woman Found Alive at New York Funeral Home After Being Pronounced Dead

The woman was found breathing almost three hours after she was pronounced dead.

Innovation

The Greasy, Glamorous Rise of Mascara

You won't believe the grimy gunk people used to smear on their eyelashes -- and still do.