The purpose of the Beargrass Micro-Loan Program is to provide $500 to $2500 loans to small inner-city entrepreneurs incapable of securing business credit from traditional sources. Funds to provide these loans come from money set aside by the Elsie Calvert fund for special mission projects. Selected members of the Micro-Loan Approval and Oversight Team at Beargrass will carry out the application process, approve loans and mentor the approved borrowers. Initially, the target area will be primarily impoverished inner-city neighborhoods, including Shelby Park and Smoketown and communities to the west.
To be considered for a loan, the applicant must have a minimum of one year working in the business requesting assistance or other related employment and must provide references. Beargrass members will be paired with loan recipients to provide business guidance and advice as needed. Beargrass volunteers serve on the Approval and Oversight Team, mentor loan recipients to provide business guidance and advice as needed.