Our Approach

We are leveling the playing field in business ownership

This isn't about loans, it's about building stronger communities

CDFIs like Northern Initiatives and its partners are building stronger local economies, enhancing job growth, and supporting economic mobility. That means more business startups, more funding for business expansions, and greater economic empowerment for everyone living and working in under-invested communities. A small business loan isn’t just a loan: it represents a chance at building community wealth, improving quality of life, and creating positive, sustainable change.

Our Unique Approach

Access to capital is only part of the equation — albeit a big one. Business owners often need support in addition to funding. That is why Northern Initiatives provides coaching, resources, and tools to help our customers achieve their business goals.

What Success Looks Like

Diverse Business Ownership

Communities where your access to capital is not defined by your race or gender, but instead by the quality of your business. 

Sustainable Startups and Growth

Businesses that have the know-how to build better futures for themselves, their employees and their communities.

Strong Communities

Strong small businesses support strong communities. From jobs to resources, our small business partners are helping their employees and communities thrive.

Our Impact

$ 0 M

Given in small business loans


Total jobs created and retained by our small business loans

0 %

Of our loan customers receive additional business support

0 %

Of our 2021 customers were startups

Our Customers

Demographic Makeup of Northern Initiatives Business Loan Customers 2016-2020

Featured Success Stories

Blossom Bird Bubble Tea

Kaila and Daniel Ball, newly married during the pandemic, had dreams of something fresh, away from metro Detroit. “We had plans to move to Oregon,”…
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PM School

Mary Doyen and Peg Lippens have made some pretty savvy decisions for a couple of new business owners. “We had students who were completing school…
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Emmanuel Barbershop

The early days of the pandemic were tough on Carlton Briggs and his Emmanuel Barbershop. They were really tough on his customers. "This culture –…
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Sleepy Dog Books

Riley and Jennifer Justis had always dreamed of owning a bookstore. The pandemic gave them more time to dream. And plan. And make it happen.…
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Messersmith Manufacturing

  Messersmith Manufacturing of Bark River, Mich., designs, manufactures and installs biomass boiler systems. Messersmith was incorporated in 1982 by Gailyn and Valerie Messersmith and…
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