The MBA Program provides training, support, and funding through an initial grant and/or micro-loans to allow fledgling businesses to grow and flourish.
Applications for the 2020 Program opened on Jan. 6 and will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Click here for the 2020 MBA Business Directory.
Información para Solicitud
What is the Individual Development Account (IDA)?
- An IDA is a special savings vehicle that helps those with limited financial resources build assets, gain valuable training, and enter the financial mainstream.
- The MCNW IDA match savings program operates on a 8:1 match ratio. Every $1 a participant saves is matched with $8 in grant money.
- The savings goal for all participants is $500, matched with $4,000 in grant money, for a total of $4,500.
Commonly asked questions regarding IDA eligibility
- Does my partner’s or spouse’s income count?
Yes, we look at household income. This includes domestic partnerships, live-in partners, and dependents. Roommates do not count toward household income.
- What sort of income counts?
Earned and unearned sources of income or benefits count toward eligibility
- Does credit history affect my eligibility for the IDA program?
- Can both my spouse and I get an IDA grant, if our businesses are different?
Yes, both spouses can enroll in the program as long as they have separate businesses.
- What can I use the money for?
IDA funds are prioritized for hard asset purchases, meaning equipment and machinery. The goal is to invest in long-term business assets that will increase your capacity or help you operate more effectively and efficiently. Up to 25% of funds can be used marketing such as website design, signage or professional branding. Vehicle purchases are approved on a case by case basis if it is their primary asset purchase (delivery business, taxi, food truck, and farming vehicles).
- What if I already bought my equipment – can I reimburse myself?
No. The IDA program does not pay off pre-existing debt or reimburse you for any purchases made prior to completion of the program. You will have four (4) months to disburse all funds.
- Do I have to complete a business plan?
Yes –a business plan is part of the IDA program requirements.
- Do we have to give Mercy Corps access to our savings account?
A custodial bank account with a partner bank will be set up in Mercy Corps Northwest’s and your name so we can track your monthly savings. You will not have permission to access your account without our written permission. If for any reason you do not finish the program, MCNW will always sign off for you to access your funds. MCNW never touches your savings.
- Do I have to pay taxes on my IDA grant funds?
No, in fact you are able to receive a credit.
What is involved in the business training and education components?
A six-week, 18-hour course that covers a variety of topics aimed at those wanting to expand or start a business.
- Business and financial terms
- Business registration, licensing, and taxes
- Credit counseling
- Marketing strategies
- Developing a business plan
June 23, 2019 - Micro-business program expands, starts anew
May 3, 2019 - Yes, Micro-Business Program has great potential
May 1, 2019 - Micro-Business Program has great potential
April 28, 2019 - First graduates emerge from Micro-Business program
Dec. 2, 2018 - Micro-Business Assistance Program helps budding local businesses grow
Thank you to all of our partners who have made this program possible.