Entrepreneur & Small Business Resources

According to the US Small Business Administration, about 40 percent of the private-sector net new jobs are from start-ups. The Department of Economic Development takes pride in having its own Small Business section to assist with small business financial endeavors. If you are looking for alternative small business funding or for technical resources to help with assembling of a business plan, the organizations listed below are here to help you and your small business succeed.

It’s the entrepreneurial attitude thriving in Cleveland along with these resources that are turning this city into an “Innovation Hub” according to a recent article by Popular Mechanics.

Also, if you are looking for retail space under 10,000 square feet, please check out this new webmap resource offered by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress which will provide you with access to available retail and commercial spaces in Cleveland.

Ariel Ventures LLC
Ariel Ventures, LLC, a female-owned consulting firm established in Cleveland since 2001, provides finance, tax, IT and business advisory services to real estate, small business, and economic development projects, which include public/private finance, tax credits and other incentives. The Ariel Economic Development Fund (AEDF) provides equity ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, and below market interest rate loans, with flexible terms, ranging from $250,000 to $1,500,000, to high impact businesses located in low-income, underserved areas in Ohio.
Phone number: 216.344.9441
Bad Girl Ventures
Bad Girl Ventures provides financing and business education to female entrepreneurs of greater Cleveland. BGV focuses on giving women-owned start-ups the resources and support needed to launch and take their company to the next level. Entrepreneurs can choose to participate in a nine week intensive course and may also apply to become a finalist and compete for financing.
Phone number: 216.759.4575

BioEnterprise is a non-profit business formation, recruitment, and acceleration initiative designed to grow healthcare companies and commercialize bioscience technologies in Northeast Ohio. Founded by Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, Summa Health System and Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, BioEnterprise helps connect medical device, biotechnology, and healthcare IT entrepreneurs to potential partners, venture capitalists and private equity firms, technical services, and more.
Phone number: 216.658.3999

Business Advisors of Cleveland
Free counseling, consulting, mentoring and educational programs for start-ups, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. BAC volunteer professionals have kept entrepreneurs on the road to success since 1956.
Phone number: 216.426.2053

Cleveland Colectivo
The Cleveland Colectivo provides grants for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. Their mission is to strengthen our community through collective investments that identify and nurture innovative projects.
Phone number: Web access only

Council of Small Enterprises (COSE)
COSE,with approximately 14,000 members, is the region’s largest small business support organization. They provide cost-effective group purchasing programs, advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues, networking and educational resources to help Northeast Ohio’s small businesses grow.
Phone number: 216.592.2222

Cuyahoga County Small Business Development Center (“SBDC”) at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland
The Cuyahoga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland offers a number of training classes focused on preparing budding and fortifying existing business owners.
Phone number: 216.812.3162

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses has committed a $15 million investment in Cleveland to provide education, access to financial capital and business support services to small businesses. Each business owner that is selected to participate in the program at Cuyahoga Community College will receive a scholarship to cover program tuition and materials. Applicants must be an owner or co-owner of a business in operation for at least two years, have revenues between $150,000 and $4 million and have a minimum of four employees.
Phone number: 216.987.3220

Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI)
ECDI provides technical assistance and micro-loans for small business start-ups that may not qualify for traditional financing. Loans range from $500 -$350,000 for start-up, newly-established, or growing micro enterprises. In July 2014, ECDI established a full-time women’s business center in Cleveland which will offer office space, technical assistance and access to capital.
Phone number: 216.912.5655

Flashstarts, Inc.
Flashstarts, a start-up accelerator founded in 2012, provides mentors, capital and office space to start-up businesses, venture capital firms and accelerator / incubator programs.
Phone number: 216.220.0200

Growth Capital
Growth Capital Corporation is a private nonprofit corporation, certified by the SBA to process loans and contribute to the economic development of the community. Since 1982, Growth Capital Corporation has provided fixed rate capital financing assistance to Northeast Ohio for-profit businesses in support of their overall mission to foster economic growth including job creation and retention.
Phone number: 216.592.2332

Grow Cuyahoga County Fund
The Grow Cuyahoga County Fund is a unique economic development partnership between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, National Development Council and the Grow America Fund, Inc. The fund provides SBA guaranteed loans to businesses for working capital, machinery and equipment, acquisition of land and buildings, construction, renovation and tenant improvements. These loans can offer longer terms, lower down-payments, and lower interest rates.
Phone number: 614.499.0476

Hebrew Free Loan Association
The Hebrew Free Loan Association is a treasured community resource that, for more than a century, has offered its services to all persons regardless of race or religion. HLFA’s mission is to lend money for worthy purposes, free of interest to needy and responsible persons.
Phone number: 216.378.9042

Hispanic Business Center
The Hispanic Business Center is committed to providing professional and qualified consulting, technical assistance and group training services aimed at equipping business owners with the education they need to take informed business risks and make management decisions.
Phone number: 216.681.4422

Internal Revenue Service
The IRS is the nation’s tax collection agency and has a mission to provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.
Phone number: 216.522.7134

JumpStart, Inc.
Jumpstart employs the skills, experience and creativity to directly invest and assist diverse entrepreneurs leading high growth companies in Northeast Ohio. They grow and strengthen Northeast Ohio’s regional entrepreneurial ecosystem by overseeing an interconnected network of support resources, including incubators and accelerators, investors, research foundations and education programs, to supply young, high growth companies with the capital, mentoring, space and connections they need.
Phone number: 216.363.3400
Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (“MAGNET”)
MAGNET provides consulting services aimed at helping high-growth technology companies that are focused on producing engineered products while achieving bottom-line efficiencies through increased productivity and process improvement. The 85,000 square foot incubator at MAGNET, located on the campus of Cleveland State University, offers high-quality space and facility amenities targeted to keep costs affordable and allow businesses to concentrate their limited capital on furthering developmental priorities.
Phone number: 216.600.1022
Minority Business Assistance Center (“MBAC”) of Cleveland
Located at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, the MBAC assists socially disadvantaged small businesses with: access to capital, bonding, MBE/EDGE certification, contract opportunities, business coaching and training.
Phone number: 216.622.0999 x232

Minority Business Development Agency (“MBDA”) Business Center
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s MBDA promotes the competitiveness of minority-owned business though generating increased financial opportunities. The MBDA Business Center located in Cleveland, OH is operated by the Commission on Economic Inclusion. The center is part of a national network of funded centers located in major cities throughout the United States. The center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities while creating and retaining jobs.
Phone number: 216.592.2253

Minority Business Solutions, Inc.
Minority Business Solutions Inc. (MBS) a diversity consultant firm established in 2007 provides consulting services specializing in construction and related industry, as well as trade union, small business and community awareness including referral services for public and private bidding opportunities.
Phone number: 216.283.0707

NextStep Strategies for Business Growth
NextStep is an innovative program designed specifically for small business owners. Participants are provided with the know-how, training, and networks to turn growth plans into action. University Circle Inc.’s 7-month NextStep program combines in class instruction, peer to peer learning, and introductions to a network of professionals to grow your business. The program is designed for the owner of a business which is at least three years old and generates between $250,000 to $10,000,000 in annual sales.
Phone number: 216.707.5040

SCORE Cleveland
SCORE Cleveland (“SCORE”), comprised of more than 60 volunteers of experienced business owners and managers, are dedicated to providing in-depth, industry-specific business assistance to help evaluate a business idea or plan, stimulate business growth and ensure long-term stability. SCORE provides free business advice and counseling, plus local and online workshops.
Phone number: 216.522.4194

Small Business Administration (“SBA”)
SBA provides free online courses taking them step-by-step through the process of starting a business, including writing business plans and raising capital. SBA-sponsored loan programs are available through local financial institutions.
Phone number: 216.522.4180

Starting Point
Starting point provides technical assistance, funding and training for daycare and child care centers.
Phone number: 216.575.0061

Urban League of Greater Cleveland
The Urban League of Greater Cleveland (ULGC), a community-based, non-profit organization was established in 1917. The core mission focuses on the following: Education & Youth, Economic Empowerment, Health & Quality of Life, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights and Racial Justice. Business services include: business planning, legal services, product development and technical resources. Partnering with government, corporate and other community organizations has enabled the ULGC’s ability to respond effectively to the needs of the urban community.
Phone number: 216.622.0999

WIRE-Net is an organization that focuses on providing programs and services that strengthen manufacturing to create healthy communities and fuel economic growth. WIRE-Net works as a consultant, collaborator, referral source and hands-on provider in workforce development, growth and operational improvement initiatives, supply chain development, governmental assistance programs and urban redevelopment.
Phone number: 216.588.1440