About Us

Creating a more empowered and equitable West Michigan through opportunities for small business ownership.

In 1989, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) was founded to provide women with economic mobility through business education and counseling. Today, in addition to education and counseling, GROW is a Community Development Financial Institution and microlender that offers loans to both female and male existing and aspiring business owners who lack access to traditional financing. We do this with financial support from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund, Association of Women's Business Center (AWBC) and the Small Business Association (SBA).

GROW as a Community Development Financial Institution

As a Community Development Financial Institutions, GROW is dedicated to providing responsible, accessible lending products to elevate underrepresented communities through small business ownership.


GROW as a Womens
Business Center

Through funding from the Association of Womens Business Centers, GROW provides support to entrepreneurs through educational programming, business counseling and technical support.

 

GROW as an
SBA Lender

GROW provides micro-loans of up to $50,000 backed by the Small Business Administration. Our loans are designed to meet borrower's unique needs and are suitable for those who are low-income, low-credit, and not yet bankable.

 

Our Impact

In 2020, GROW’s funding aided in 55 businesses in West Michigan keeping their doors open during COVID-19. Our webinars provided critical training that equipped entrepreneurs to overcome the evolving challenges of the pandemic.

Our Staff

The staff at GROW is made up of dedicated professionals who serve with compassion and targeted support to help existing and aspiring business owners thrive. Learn more about our staff here. 

Our Board

Our 16-person board meets monthly and members serve on committees and in advisory roles. Learn more about our 2022 board of directors here.

Learn More

Lending

Our business development officers walk alongside you as you prepare to take on a loan to start or grow your business. Our loans are designed to meet your unique circumstances and get your business on the road to success.

Training

Our business training combines the latest in technical assistance programming with timely webinars to help you build a strong foundation of business basics while equipping you to meet challenges as they come.

Counseling

GROW Business Development Officers and volunteer counselors are available for one-on-one consultation in the areas of marketing, finance, human resources, and all other business management topics.