October 21, 2016
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Platform Connects Minority Businesses With $$$

 PORTSMOUTH, VA -- In response to an outcry in recent years from minority business owners for improved access and greater diversity of resources for capital and credit, MBE Capital Connect responds with an online platform that connects entrepreneurs and capital. This online application was specifically designed to aide Accredited Investors (angel investors, venture capital firms, banks, credit unions, insurance companies, etc.), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and SBA Certified Community Development Corporations (CDCs) to source funding requests and investment opportunities with qualified minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses operating within their markets. With MBE Capital Connect(TM) these "Investors" can identify and source deals locally, regionally, or nationwide, with greater effectiveness, and substantially less expense.

"Access to capital has long been a serious impediment to minority business development in recent years", says James R Taylor – Director and Founder of Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation, producer of MBE Capital Connect. "Now, on the heels of a recession and significantly tighter credit markets, accessing traditional and non-traditional capital and credit is critical for small business owners, particularly minority business enterprises. MBE Capital Connect not only gives small business owners a single venue for accessing a variety of capital and credit, but enables minority-owned banks, community development federal credit unions, certified community development corporations, high net-worth individuals (accredited investors), and others to realize investment and lending opportunities with minority-led initiatives in their community. I think this supports reinvestment within their community, helps create local jobs and wealth, and enhances the ability of community-based lenders and minority angel investors and venture capital funds increase deal flow."

MBE Capital Connect screens each business profile for several matching criteria, such as the type of capital/credit desired, the amount of funding needed, the location of the business, the funding stage of the business, and the business' industry, among other criteria. This is a tremendous leap forward for entrepreneurs, as the application allows small business owners to create one business profile that is used to source multiple forms of capital and credit. Supporting documents, such as the resumes of the management team, photos, company logo, equipment lists, property descriptions, and other documents, can be uploaded and stored for retrieval and use by prospective lenders and investors. The application also allows lenders and investors to create their own virtual library allowing prospects to access common documents and forms online.

Other applications are limited to a single funding type, such as with the applications and methods used currently by many angel investor groups and venture capital firms. This is a serious impediment, as the entrepreneur has to first identify the angel investor/group, determine if their venture meets the group's investment criteria (if stated on their website), then submit their funding requirements, usually their business plan document, via email or complete an online form that transmits the information for review. This can be a very tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming process.

MBE Capital Connect accommodates fourteen (14) forms of capital and credit, including: Accounts Receivable Financing, Acquisition Funding, Management Buyout Financing, Commercial Real Estate Financing, Equipment Financing, Floor/Inventory Financing, Corporate Credit Card, Micro Loan, Letter of Credit, Line of Credit, Research and Development Funding, Vehicle Financing, Venture Capital, and Working Capital Funding. So, entrepreneurs need only enter their information once to reach multiple providers of capital and credit. It's easy for investors and lenders to sign-up and managing deal flow is just as simple.

MBE Capital Connect
 is a dynamic, online marketplace that connects minority business enterprises and capital. The site serves the needs of minority-owned businesses, including women and disabled-veterans, seeking funding and related professional services for their business venture. MBE Capital Connect(TM) provides minority business enterprises a single venue for quickly accessing capital and credit, essential to the creation, growth, and expansion of their business. MBE Capital Connect(TM) allows investors to thoroughly evaluate, research, and fulfill requests for a wide range of financing, in a confidential and secure environment. MBE Capital Connect(TM) (dot com) is a service/trade mark of Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation (VHCDC).

Virginia Housing and Community Development Corporation is a community development corporation based in Portsmouth, Virginia. It is organized as a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization. The empowerment-based mission of VHCDC is being realized through its support of entrepreneurship and its innovative approach to making a difference, in Hampton Roads and throughout our nation. VHCDC is working to promote and support entrepreneurship, to advance entrepreneurship education and training, to promote entrepreneurship-friendly policies, to connect disadvantaged small businesses to capital and credit, and to facilitate the commercialization of new technologies and services by small, women, and minority-owned businesses which have great promise for improving the economic welfare of our region.

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