STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARYExpand our capacityto measure andmanage impactCreate systems toamplify impactstories, buildawareness of EF, andelevate stories aboutthe diverseentrepreneurialecosystem in ourregion.Implement ways toaccelerateeffectiveness ofecosystem.Work with regionaland national partnersto track and growregional impact.Partner with BIPOCcommunities tolearn, collaborate,and create tailoredstrategies for BIPOCbusiness impacts.Develop Quality Jobinitiative to shareproven strategies forcreating andsustaining jobs thatprovide living wage,benefits, and growthopportunities acrossthe region.Foster entrepreneurled collaborations tobuild networks ofdiverse-ownedbusinesses, ruralinnovators, andthose seeking togrow.Find innovativeways for investors toparticipate in EFlending.Explore alternativesto debt-financinginstruments tocapitalize EF.Innovate on lendingapproaches totarget lending andservices to diverseentrepreneurs,target industries,and scalable smallbusinesses.
MISSIONABOUT USGet Things DoneMutually CommitCommit to the GreaterGoodEffective TeamworkVALUESWhat guides our work?To actively partner withentrepreneurs to stimulatethe growth of successfulbusinesses.Why do we exist?VISIONVibrant communitiescreated and sustained byentrepreneurs.What will our region look likewhen we achieve our mission?TARGETED IMPACT THEMESWhat are the outcomes we seek to create?1) ENTREPRENEUR & BUSINESS GROWTHAccess to Capital: Ensuring direct access to opportunity for allthrough our capital programs. We also enhance the entirefinancial ecosystem to serve our communities & region. Services: Direct consulting & programs to grow skills, networks,and achieve goals. Entrepreneur Networks – Intentionally fostering networks andconnections that enhance an entrepreneurial culture and putsmall business as drivers of our region.Partnering with small business owners to achieve their goals iswhat we do best. This is essential for individual, community, andregional prosperity. We deploy a combination of the following tostart, improve, and grow businesses: These themes define the outcomes we seek to create, are the basis of ourimpact measures & evaluation, and will guide our work in elevatingstories of entrepreneurial success in the region.
3) COMMUNITY VITALITYEF partners with communities – entrepreneur communities,cultural communities, and physical communities – to drive localprosperity. EF is a direct resource for the many types of businessesthat are critical to community: retail, restaurants, daycare, access tohealthcare.4) ECONOMIC GROWTH & DIVERSITYSmall businesses are the unsung heroes that often bring ourgreatest economic impacts via economic diversity (servecustomers outside region, operate in sectors that are not in ourtraditional regional (commodity) industries, and create qualityjob growth to our region. EF provides specific tools to the small businesses who seek togrow, scale, and create quality jobs in our region. An enhanced focus and attention to key industries –professional services, manufacturing, tech-based businesses –offers up new clusters of prosperity to emerge away from ourtraditional industries that tend to be cyclical, reducingemployment, and have ownership outside the region.2) ECONOMIC JUSTICE & INCLUSIONEF plays a pivotal role to economic justice and inclusion.Prioritizing opportunity to the people and places that areunderserved or face barriers. Rural-based businesses,minority-owned firms, and women-owned businessesare our main pursuits. We target small businessoutcomes to these people and places and we prioritizetailored strategies and resources for each in partnershipwith other committed partners.TARGETED IMPACT THEMES CONT.
Model ways we demonstrate broader impactBE A LEADER IN COMMUNITY &ECONOMIC GROWTHExpanding our capacity to measure and manage impactCreating systems to amplify impact stories, buildawareness of EF, and elevate stories about the diverseentrepreneurial ecosystem in our region.Implementing strategies to accelerate the effectivenessof the ecosystem.Working with regional and national partners to track andgrow regional impact. entrepreneurs are integral to building andsustaining community prosperity. We have seen the power of smallbusiness ownership transform lives and create a positive ripple effectbeyond the business and into the community. We are dedicated tocapturing that impact, using it innovate and scale our work and the workof the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and elevating the powerful story ofentrepreneurship. We will do that by:WE BELIEVEMeeting fundamental and basic reporting standards.Collecting standardized information tied to EF targeted impact themes.Consistent client feedback via standardized surveys.Regular status reports of impact themes.Creation of longitudinal datasets including: Quality jobs, diverse sectors, diversity equity & inclusion (DEI).Business starts, stabilizations, & expansions.Storyboarding, developing, and executing content tied to impact themes.Implementing new communications methods to deploy & share our story. Presenting & partnering to bring new strategies and practices to the region.A regional and national reputation as a leader in small business developmentHow will we measure our progress?
Build a baseline of data systems, process, and proficiency tomeet future needs. Develop more effective tools for datacollection and measurement of metrics such as quality jobs,key industry impacts, etc.Elevate and integrate data evaluation and storytelling ofimpact themes through strategic communications. Messageimpacts, lessons learned, and strategies used based onimpact themes.Develop retroactive stories that demonstrate our previousimpact.Evolve lending impact story to emphasize “pathways” toopportunity, bank financing, and investors. Develop storiesand measures of small businesses accessing mainstreamfinancing.Track economic mobility of diverse business owners andelevate BIPOC firm success stories. Incorporate thesesuccesses into our community & regional success stories toshow a more integrated, inclusive regional economy.Systematic survey, assessment and defining of client needs. Share with internal and external stakeholders on the stateof small business.Define a quality job. Build practices and measures around it.Position EF as a thought-leader and innovator in community& regional economic growth via new communicationmethods.Demonstrate new strategies, tools, and data to regionalpartners that will accelerate the effectiveness of our regionalecosystem.Align with key data partners (UW-Extension, Aspen Institute,Center for Rural Entrepreneurship) to integrate EF impactthemes with shared data, tools, and strategies.What actions we will take to achieve goals.
Enhance Service OfferingsSPARK COLLECTIVE IMPACTPartnering with BIPOC communities to learn, collaborate,and create tailored strategies for BIPOC businessimpacts.Developing a Quality Jobs initiative using provenstrategies for creating and sustaining jobs that provideliving wage, benefits, and growth opportunities acrossthe region.Fostering entrepreneur led collaborations to buildnetworks of diverse-owned businesses, rural innovators,and those seeking to grow. inclusive entrepreneurship has the power totransform communities. By harnessing the collective power ofentrepreneurs we can drive more inclusive, prosperous communities & astronger regional economy. We commit to the committed and will walkalongside the dedicated entrepreneurs in this region to co-createenhanced services to support ongoing economic justice efforts. We willdo this by:WE BELIEVEA clean, simple to follow client “walk” or customer experience.A website tailored to delivering services & loans to clients.An array of flexible and user friendly tools to help clients meet their goals.# of starts, stabilizations, and expansions. Improved # of SSE to staff ratio.A digitally led-experience so that the EF entry point and on-goingconnections are easy & accessible.Increased and accessible resources to BIPOC entrepreneurs. Increased SSEof BIPOC-owned firms.New combined lending & service approaches tailored to grow & scalebusinesses with high potential for quality job creation & economic diversity.Convening small business owners on a local and regional level to improvebusiness, community, & region.How will we measure our progress?
Develop clearly staged services for starting, stabilizing, and expandingbusinesses.Develop entrepreneur community building opportunities & amentorship program.Explore effective ways to grow leadership and management skills ofclients.Expand financial capability trainings: Profit Mastery, CPAconsultations, etc.Foster a partnership to implement a lean-start-up boot camp inregion as a start-up driver.Learn, partner, and tailor strategies to meet culturally specific needsfor more diverse business ownership.Implement a Quality Jobs initiative to educate, train, and facilitate thecreation of quality jobs.Test and demonstrate a replicable framework, that combines newlending & service approaches, that will lead to the scale and growth oflocally-owned companies.Explore and innovate with new practices and approaches, inpartnership with small business owners who have strong leadership &management skills, to test new approaches believed to advance thescale and growth of their companies that will lead to quality jobcreation. Start small with 5-10 small businesses and tailor newapproaches that will result in the growth of quality jobs.Identify & convene leading small business owners, on a regional andcommunity-level, to network with each other & improve theirbusiness. Introduce & demonstrate ways that they can drive changein their communities and the region and support their efforts.Prioritize and dedicate resources to expand the ecosystem servingBIPOC entrepreneurs. This includes capacity building of partners,shared strategy development, and strong working partnerships thatare exclusively focused on diverse-owned businesses (or aspiringentrepreneurs).Clearly identified onboarding and specified skill trainingrequirements for each services staff member.What actions we will take to achieve goals.
ESTABLISH EF AS LEADINGIMPACT INVESTMENTTransform utilization of capitalResearch and develop (R&D) initiatives: new ways to capitalize.Dedicated capital source(s) for BIPOC owned firms.# of new types of loan capital.$ of new debt capital. $5-10M 2021, $5-15M 2022, $10-$20M 2023.New combined lending approaches tailored to grow & scalebusinesses with high potential for quality job creation & economicdiversity.WE BELIEVEFinding innovative ways for investors to participate in EFlending.Exploring alternatives to debt-financing instruments tocapitalize EF.Innovating on lending approaches to target lending andservices to diverse entrepreneurs, target industries, andscalable small businesses. small business owners face a number ofhurdles to start, improve, and grow their business. Accessing fairfinancing shouldn't be one of those. At EF, we are dedicated to helpingentrepreneurs access capital at every stage of their business. Since 2015we have almost quadrupled our lending and the demand continues togrow. In order to meet this demand, we must transform the way we raisecapital and implement innovative approaches for lending to ensure weare achieving our desired impacts. We will do this by: How will we measure our progress?
Research, test, and scale traditional and non-traditionalsources of loan capital including CDFI Bond Guarantee,investment notes, or regional capital partnerships.Create an investment instrument that would match thesecurity and return of a fixed income class investmentproduct. Market to foundations, financial advisors, andinstitutional investors.Scale up staffing, process, and systems for enhancedcompliance, reporting, and oversight.Staggered principal repayments through a mix of loanofferings and “bank graduation” that provide steadied anddiverse principle repayment for steady capitalization.Set specific lending targets and develop distinct capitalpools to grow and expand capital to BIPOC ownedbusinesses.Designate specific “risk pools” towards targeted impactssuch as quality jobs and scalable/growth-oriented firms. Design and implement new lending products, potentiallycombined with service offerings, that offer terms,conditions, and service that enable desired impacts.Explore creative options that would lead to $1-$5Mincrements of new debt capital sources to EF.What actions we will take to achieve goals.