Renaissance Community Loan Fund Celebrates Collaboration With Mississippi State University Extension Service to Assist Aspiring Entrepreneurs


Tupelo, MS – Renaissance Community Loan Fund (RCLF) recently celebrated the third year of its collaboration with Mississippi State University Extension Service’s innovative entrepreneurial training program, StartUp Mississippi. When RCLF’s Director of Lending, John-Michael Marlin, and Community Outreach Coordinator, Jeremy Martin, learned about StartUp Mississippi, they immediately offered to assist the program by providing RCLF training videos, interactive templates, and virtual training sessions. These resources enhanced the effectiveness of StartUp Mississippi, a free 30-day online program delivered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with instructors and resources to help them create successful businesses.

Starting a business can be overwhelming due to a lack of support, rules and regulations, finances, and various other factors. StartUp Mississippi provides entrepreneurs with the time and resources to focus on their businesses and ideas while being supported by their peers and instructors. “If you invest in your idea for at least 30 days, you will be able to decide the next steps for you and your business,” said Extension Service instructor Terence Norwood.

After the first cohort of students finished the StartUp Mississippi program in 2020, the program team saw an opportunity to expand instruction to better assist entrepreneurs. Instructors Dr. Rachael Carter and Ms. Lauren-Colby Nickels have been with the program since its inception. Through their previous collaboration, they recognized a connection between the efforts and mission of StartUp and RCLF. “We work every day to help our clients create, develop, and expand their businesses. Partnering with Mississippi State Extension Services on StartUp Mississippi helps us fulfill our mission to reach and help more entrepreneurs throughout Mississippi,” said RCLF’s Community Outreach Coordinator, Jeremy Martin.

According to Terence Norwood, the most recent cohort consisted of a diverse group of people and business ideas. 84% of StartUp Mississippi applicants from their most recent cohort were female, and 64% were African American. These statistics align with RCLF’s mission to assist commonly underserved communities and help Mississippians create and operate successful businesses. Four entrepreneurs from the most recent cohort are currently working with Renaissance’s commercial lending team and business coaches to help make their dream of business ownership a reality.

“Our collaboration with Mississippi State Extension Services helps RCLF reach more aspiring entrepreneurs and connect people with our resources. It is our goal that this partnership will grow, and we can continue to make a positive difference in the lives of more entrepreneurs throughout the state,” said Kimberly LaRosa, President & CEO of RCLF. RCLF currently partners with various colleges throughout Mississippi, such as Delta State and Jackson State University. Through partnerships, Renaissance Community Loan Fund provides free, detailed resources and business coaching to aspiring and growing entrepreneurs. RCLF welcomes the opportunity to partner with all institutions of higher learning to better equip the next generation of successful business owners in Mississippi.

About Renaissance Community Loan Fund

Renaissance Community Loan Fund is on a mission to empower people with the skills and information they need to become a homeowner or start or expand their small business. We’re a different kind of lender—focused on helping the people of Mississippi and Alabama achieve their dreams.

About Mississippi State University Extension Service

The Mississippi State University Extension Service provides research-based information, educational programs, and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being.

Media Contact
Company Name: Renaissance Community Loan Fund
Contact Person: Denise Carver
Email: Send Email
Country: United States

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