Fund seeks downtown entrepreneurs

A new seed fund for fledgling Dayton retail, service and other kinds of businesses is in place.

The NCIC Capital Fund and the Downtown Dayton Partnership are launching the Kiva Dayton Seed Fund to “help jump-start the use of crowd-funding tool Kiva as a lending source for local small businesses and start-ups,” the organizations said in a joint announcement Thursday.

The fund will boost the crowd-funding campaigns of Kiva Dayton borrowers by committing the first 20 percent of the total loan intended to be raised through Kiva. This seed funding is meant to offer momentum to each crowd-funding campaign, which will give the entrepreneur a much better chance of reaching fund-raising goals. Like any Kiva loan, the seed funds will revolve as the loan is repaid.

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“Small business is the backbone of the Dayton economy,” Frank Winslow at NCIC, which is an affiliate of the Dayton Development Coalition, said in the statement. “But for many entrepreneurs, access to capital is a major barrier. We see this fund as an outlet that will help small businesses establish financial credibility to climb the capital ladder, which is critical if we want them to grow.”

“For us to have a thriving small business and start-up ecosystem, we can’t just focus on technology-based or high-growth start-ups,” said Scott Murphy, vice president of economic development for the downtown partnership. “There are plenty of service-based companies, retail businesses, and more that provide important contributions to our economy. These businesses need to have funding outlets as well.”

Anyone who would like to contribute toward Kiva loans for participating Dayton-area businesses can create an account and contribute as little as $25 towards a campaign, the organizations’ announcement said.

Entities that would like to contribute to the seed fund should contact Murphy at

Those interested may also visit the Kiva Dayton page.

Small businesses wishing to apply for Kiva funds can contact Murphy or any of the Kiva Dayton Network partners, which include the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Nucleus, the Minority Business Assistance Center, Ohio SBDC Network, The Entrepreneurs Center, Dayton Tech Guide, NCIC Capital Fund, Dayton Development Coalition, and Dayton SCORE.

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