WKKF Impact Study

What an Impact!

W.K. Kellogg Foundation looks at Northern Initiatives’ work in Battle Creek

Torti TacoThe W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) did an impact study on Northern Initiatives’ Small Business Loan Program in Battle Creek and the impact these small businesses have had on their community is impressive! (Shown here, Javier Fortoso of Torti Taco. At the top of the page, the Bredehoft brothers at Cafe Rica.)


The external evaluator commissioned by WKKF found:


  • – 38 small business loans have been made since March 2018
  • – 26 businesses supported
  • – Businesses span from auto repair to food, health care, personal care, retail and transportation
  • – Loans totaled nearly $4 million
  • – 56% of the businesses are owned by women
  • – Minority ownership corresponds to general population of Battle Creek, according to census data (8% Asian, 21% Black, 10% Hispanic, 50% white)
  • – Average loan: $105,000
  • – Average interest rate: 7.1%
  • – Average term: 70 months
  • – No delinquencies; 26 loans still active
  • – Over the two-year period, 12 of the loans, representing about $1.6 million, helped those businesses expand annual revenue by 64%
  • – Those 12 businesses have a combined annual income growth of 109%
  • – The increased income of these 12 loans generated more than $8,000 for city income tax over two years


We’re also going to start collecting more data to measure derivative impact, such as the economic impact on the city. The report stresses that economic impact is just one of the many ways a program can impact a community and some programs, such as our Entrepreneur Education programs, may not see a tangible impact for a long time.


“Although the significant growth in revenue and income as seen in the 12 businesses was not caused by the NI’s small business loans alone, it is safe to say that the loans provided needed support for the business growth to be possible,” the report concludes.



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