January 31, 2023


Earn Nicely, Spend Wisely

Berks County delivers funding to help neighborhood entrepreneurs

3 min read

Monetary Lending & Innovation Collaborative gets $100,000 to extend software

The Berks County Commissioners allocate $100,000 of County cash to assistance the Financial Lending & Innovation Collaborative (FLIC) spearheaded by Alvernia University’sO’Pake Institute for Financial Advancement & Entrepreneurship.


“The County is thrilled to be getting steps to set our Envision Berks program into motion and not just turn into a different plan that collects dust on a shelf,” said Commissioner Christian Y. Leinbach. “We have wonderful institutions and companies in just our group like the O’Pake Institute that have a groundwork in put to optimize these pounds to bolster the County’s general financial development.”


The allocation to the FLIC application is element of the County’s implementation of the very first yr of the Picture Berks economic development program. One of the important action products for the first yr of the strategy was to create a superior-danger micro-lending fund. As a result of this collaboration with the O’Pake Institute, the County is equipped to help increase and accelerate the FLIC plan to even more assistance and motivate entrepreneurship.


“The County cash to assist FLIC are exceptionally important to the system as they have in essence doubled the cash we have lifted with our market companions and non-public supporters that is now conveniently out there as early-stage funding that fuels innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional financial progress,” said Dr. Rodney S. Ridley Sr., VP of investigate, economic advancement and innovation and COO of the O’Pake Institute.


FLIC helps Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute in assisting local community entrepreneurs and modest organizations by providing access to funding during the early levels of the small business. These funds are presented by collaborating monetary institutions, foundations, philanthropic donors, and neighborhood corporations to aid early-stage entrepreneurs in obtaining cash.The FLIC experienced to begin with prepared to award 3-5 project grants every single quarter in a benefit of up to $5,000. With this supplemental funding from the County, the plan will be in a position to enormously maximize that volume.


“It sends a distinct sign to anyone that this location is significant about making an ecosystem that will assist early-phase entrepreneurship and small enterprise by means of micro-grants and micro-financial loans that are typically particularly really hard to obtain. We thank the county’s management workforce for their progressive aid of these initiatives,” mentioned Ridley. 

Early-stage and established companies enter The O’Pake Insitute’s Spark organization incubator shopper companies consumption method as funding candidates to get a feasibility assessment and requires evaluation to determine funding eligibility. 


At the time a company is funded, providers by means of the Spark incubator community become readily available. Products and services include things like but are not restricted to enterprise arranging, engineering transfer, social media marketing, branding, and web site progress. Funded firms are also required to match funding bucks or merchandise and expert services to the community.


Alvernia pupils in the Fellows Application acquire experiential mastering as a result of FLIC and their participation in the O’Pake Finance Committee. The committee will work with FLIC to generate economic statements, foster economical literacy, and produce small business strategies for business people although making ready them to turn into consumers at The Spark company incubator to gain extended entrepreneurial methods.

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