Main Street and Tech Navigator Programs
Business owners run their companies and are specialists at their particular craft or business. Oftentimes they are so involved in running their business that there are areas they simply don’t have time to specialize in. That’s where business navigators come in. The Navigator Program positions trusted, well-connected business mentors in target communities across Albuquerque to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners as they start and/or grow their businesses–for free.
While there are a lot of resources in Albuquerque for business owners and entrepreneurs, the pathway to that support isn’t always clear. Skilled navigators offer direct and personalized resources and support to remove barriers to starting or growing a successful business.
Access to capital is one of the greatest barriers to starting and growing businesses in Albuquerque. In partnership with Nusenda Credit Union, City Alive is challenging how businesses and entrepreneurs in Albuquerque access capital. Through the Co-op Capital program we are able to widen access to capital to low-income entrepreneurs.
Why we focus on low-income entrepreneurs:
Entrepreneurs that have no collateral, no credit or bad credit, or lack support of alternative financing such as family members, face barrier after barrier in securing capital to start or expand their businesses. If they are approved, they face unfavorable financing terms that further jeopardize their ability to compete in the financial mainstream. This happens for a variety of reasons, but typically results from barriers that limit ability to navigate financial systems, low credit-worthiness, and cultures that downplay calculated risk-taking.
In Albuquerque small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy. We want to ensure that there is opportunity for all in Albuquerque who seek it.
What is different about these loans:
The Co-op Capital lending structure—which has now been deployed by numerous partner organizations totaling over $438,000 in investment in New Mexico—allows borrowers to apply for loans through a trusted organization rather than a financial institution, which in turn enables loans to be based on character, trust and relationship rather than a credit report or collateral. As a Collective Impact strategy, Co-op Capital tackles deeply entrenched and complex barriers to access capital by making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and citizens.
The Molino Project helps Albuquerque entrepreneurs and small business owners find the right resources to grow their startups and small businesses. The Molino Project’s database of Albuquerque service providers offers business owners better access to the help they need to take the next step to grow their business.
Service Providers include small business development groups, government entities, loan programs, main street programs, chambers of commerce, technical or legal assistance providers, organizations specializing in helping women and/or minorities and more.
This project emerged out of City Alive’s planning year process, and is focused on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports all entrepreneurs, from arts and culture entrepreneurs, to main street business owners to high tech startups.
Access the database at Molino Project.
City Alive has partnered with over 180 leaders in the community–from public and private sector to education leaders and philanthropy. These partners are aligning efforts toward the vision of an Albuquerque that is a desirable place to live, work and prosper – for everyone.
Some key programs our partners offer in support of entrepreneurs and local businesses include:
Innovate ABQ’s vision is to create an integrated work, live, play community that is multi-dimensional. Research and commercial labs, science and technology companies, educational programs, business services, support services, and commercial and retail businesses share space with a business incubator in a way that allows people to work together as they wish and be an essential part of the community that is connected to UNM, CNM and the City.
Innovate ABQ has been a collective dream of Albuquerque’s for years–and is a cornerstone of City Alive’s work. The seven-acre Innovate ABQ site on the corner of Broadway and Central seeks to strengthen Albuquerque’s economic base. When completed in 2017, it will be a place where Albuquerque can grow its own talent and inspire homegrown job creation.
UNM and CNM have partnered on their 2+1+2 program to build a path to a graduate degree that might otherwise be unattainable. The program, which allows students to get their associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years, saves residents on average $23,600 in tuition and fees.
Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship
Through the the Mayor’s Prize for Entrepreneurship almost half a million dollars has been awarded to six nonprofits that work to build and grow local businesses in Albuquerque. The Mayor’s Prize was designed after City Alive’s planning year to catalyze the areas where more resources or partnerships were needed and was launched through a partnership between the Albuquerque Community Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the City of Albuquerque.
UNM’s new Innovation Academy, which launched in 2015, received 420 students in its first year. They expected 15. The Innovation Academy (iA) is an approach to transforming higher education that aligns with Innovate ABQ’s approach to transforming our economy. UNM is a knowledge supply chain full of innovative ideas that iA, UNM’s very own start-up, is bringing to fruition.
In early 2015 the City of Albuquerque enrolled 100 City employees in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Program at Central New Mexico Community College, making Albuquerque the first city government in the nation to implement the ELI Entrepreneurial Mindset Program at such scale. In 2016 the City brought the program into its Public Service University.
This mindset is transforming the way our city works. Classes are now offered to the public through CNM and a partnership with APS.
Small Business Resource Collaborative
The Small Business Resource Collaborative (SBRC) is an alliance of Albuquerque nonprofit small business development organizations, local business advocates, business consultants and small business owners. The SBRC team, comprised of business experts and professionals, provides support and services to businesses that are located on historic Route 66, otherwise known as Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
CNM STEMulus Center
The STEMulus Center is the nation’s premier education and training center for people who want today’s best jobs, and the top resource for employers who need to hire the best people.