Nebraska Enterprise Fund – Funding and Training for Small and Micro-BusinessesJamie Bright
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Nebraska Enterprise Fund
Interview with: Jim Reiff, Executive Director of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund
What is the Nebraska Enterprise Fund?
The Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF) is Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that supports underserved communities by providing micro and small businesses with access to training, technical assistance, and capital. We envision a vibrant small business ecosystem where every small and micro business has the opportunity to start, grow, and prosper.
NEF is led by Jim Reiff, a seasoned Economic Development professional with over 20 years of international and domestic experience. The NEF team is diverse and represents the clients that it intends to reach. 12 staff members are located around the state of Nebraska and SW Iowa.
What need do you fill that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners to start, scale or accelerate their business in Nebraska?
We fill the need of direct lending and gap financing for small and micro-businesses that are viable but not able to fully secure financing from a banking institution. NEF provides loans for real estate, equipment, inventory, and other working capital needs from $1,000 to $150,000.
NEF is currently developing a small business development fund to provide key equity to underrepresented businesses.
We also provide one-on-one training and mentoring. Mentoring focuses on the specific needs of the business and developing strategies to solve real business issues. NEF staff are trained on the “Growth Wheel” coaching system for small businesses to provide structured training and coaching focused on the specific needs of the small business.
NEF has been increasing its training to businesses to ensure that more existing entrepreneurs and potential business owners have access to the skills and resources necessary to succeed. This includes running programs such as “Essentials for Entrepreneurs,” “Business Acceleration Training,” “Basic Business Planning in Three Hours,” and “QuickBooks for Business.” We also host an annual “From Start-up to Success” conference and Quarterly B.A.I.L. (Banker, Accountant, Insurance, Legal) sessions.
What makes your services standout or what is unique about what you do?
NEF is the only CDFI serving the entire state of Nebraska in both urban and rural areas.
Do you have any new services you would like to highlight?
NEF is constantly developing new services. The coaching program of “Growth Wheel” is a great opportunity for small businesses to understand their areas of strength and how to address areas for growth.
Do you have a story about how SourceLink Nebraska has helped you connect with entrepreneurs and businesses?
SourceLink Nebraska has been proactive about promoting the NEF “From Start-up To Success” conference and other key NEF programming.
How will SourceLink Nebraska enhance your ability to service Nebraska entrepreneurs and businesses?
SourceLink Nebraska improves the connectivity of the ecosystem that supports small businesses in Nebraska. It will allow all resource providers and small businesses to connect much more quickly and effectively.
Why is SourceLink Nebraska needed?
It maximizes resources and makes collaboration more possible and practical. Nebraska is an entrepreneurial state and SourceLink Nebraska brings this connection to enhance the process.
Executive Director Jim Reiff finds incredible reward in his role with Nebraska Enterprise Fund, setting the strategy and developing funding sources that ultimately connect NEF clients – hard-working small business owners – with capital, training, and mentoring.
Email: [email protected]
Location: Entire State of Nebraska – Urban and Rural