Our Approach

We are leveling the playing field in business ownership

Our Mission

Northern Initiatives provides loans and business services to Michigan entrepreneurs and small business owners who add jobs and help their communities thrive.

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 2022 customers were startups

Our Customers

Demographic Makeup of Northern Initiatives Loan Customers 2017-2021

Featured Success Stories

Evart Daycare and Learning Center

Evart, Michigan
Brittany Magnusson knows how vital day care is. If Evart Daycare and Learning Center closes for just one day, there’s a domino effect: parents miss…
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Dabney & Co.

Kalamazoo, Michigan
For years, Daniel May has been a driving force behind community celebrations in Kalamazoo, including a Juneteenth bar crawl that left an indelible mark on…
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Four Leaf Brewing

Clare, Michigan
The whistle of trains mixes with the clop-clop of horses pulling buggies in downtown Clare. Outside of Four Leaf Brewing, it also mixes with the…
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RJ’s Printing

Kalamazoo, Mich.
Sean Hollins knows all too well the challenges of being a Black business owner – the search for funding, the wealth disparities, the lack of…
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J.bird Provisions

Charlevoix, Michigan
Jessica Nagel didn’t realize the depths of plumbing knowledge she was going to need to start a business. “There was virtually no plumbing I could…
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