GROW introduces Kelli Smith to lead small business lending program

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women,  (GROW) a women-focused entrepreneurial support and training organization, has announced the addition of Kelli Smith as Business Development Officer. Her addition will allow GROW to expand the lending programs as well as assisting small businesses obtain funding that can be used for marketing, inventory, equipment, and more. Kelli’s work will also allow GROW to further enhance programs for business owners.

Kelli Smith Photo cropped

Smith will lead GROW’s business development initiatives in helping small businesses and startups who cannot get traditional loans to find funding. She brings over 20 years of experience in business operations and client services, as well as cost strategies and finance. As an experienced entrepreneur, Kelli understands the unique needs and challenges entrepreneurs face. Her focus will be on lending money to support small business clients in both startup and growth mode.  Kelli will also be a key conduit for connecting GROW clients, and other businesses who need funding, with additional sources for loan/funding collaboration.

Smith shared, “Having owned my own small business for several years, I understand how difficult the process can be from pre-startup to opening the doors… I’m excited to be an advocate for small business owners and entrepreneurs, and I look forward to being able to help them achieve their dreams.”

In addition, she says, “My main focus right now is on clients; on getting to know their needs and creating opportunities for our growing list of potential entrepreneurs. I’m looking for ways to be more involved in the surrounding neighborhoods and ways to help them cultivate their businesses.”

To learn more about the GROW programs and staff members, visit

About Kelli Smith: Kelli comes from the Ludington area, where she successfully owned and operated her own business for more than a decade. She has been a long-time advisor for youth services through coordinating internships and mentoring high school and college students. Her commitment to community development has led her to serve on the Board of Directors at Safe Harbor Credit Union, West Shore Community College, and Memorial Medical Center Benefit Committee. Kelli works closely with clients to cultivate relationships and ensure their current and future business success.