The Business Credit Literacy Initiative (BCLI) began as a curriculum for a grant-funded adult literacy course taught at a community college. After the curriculum was assembled, the group of educators quickly realized that most small business owners needed additional capital to start and grow their businesses and current resources were not completely fulfilling the need. The curriculum was modified to address both the preparation and process for building business credit and accessing equity-based capital.
This led to the development of our economic development-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2016. After confirming with key influencers, i.e., Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and Economic Development Corporations, we decided to offer two distinct solutions for entrepreneuers needing capital--assistance building business credit (SBDI: Business Credit Building Program) and/or accessing equity-based funding.
In early 2017, we started an associated for-profit entity, Contrarian Capital Advisors, LLC, to focus on assisting entrepreneurs with accessing equity-based capital. Our LLC provides Capital Readiness Reviews (CRR) to assess if the entrepreneur (and his/her business) is actually prepared to attract investment funds and how to assist the entrepreneur to become an attractive candidate. Once the CRR is complete, we use the results to create a transparent and proven plan to become capital ready. Last year, our team assisted almost 200 entrepreneurs with this process and 100% of those who reached our threshhold of 925 (out of 1,000) received a capital injection. The LLC has added a new opportunity for entrepreneurs -- its innovative OPM Program that provides the seed capital to become capital ready.
In mid 2017, BCLI joined the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)'s Money Smart Alliance.
Our desired position is to be a niche solution for other organizations and resources--NOT compete with them. To accomplish this nationally, we are in the early stages of opening 100 local offices through our Community-Based Initiative (CBI).
Our leadership team committed to helping entrepreneurs is composed of: