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 2021 customers were startups

Our Customers

Demographic Makeup of Northern Initiatives Loan Customers 2017-2021

Featured Success Stories

Sip Coffee and Cocktails

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jonathan Farman says the best business move he ever made was finding the right partner. Jonathan Frantz, his partner, agrees. The two met in 2016…
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2022 Gift Guide

Small business is the best business. These entrepreneurs support their families and their communities and we're proud to support them.     FOR SOMEONE WHO…
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Applecore General Store

Cedarville, Michigan
Activity comes in waves in the Les Cheneaux region. There’s the summer onslaught, because who wouldn’t want to spend time in an area surrounded by…
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Aspidistra Naturals

Battle Creek, Michigan
Lori Olsen is delighted with one benefit of owning a business – the jump in her confidence. “I’m doing things I never thought I’d do,”…
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Smith Truck Body

Rosebush, Michigan
Curtis Smith is sure of one thing: There will always be garbage. Smith has worked nearly a decade in waste hauling and recycling. He opened…
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