Character-Based Microloan Program Demonstrates 1st Year Success

In just one year, the University at Albany’s Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) program has invested $825,000 in the Capital District and created 92 new jobs for 24 entrepreneurs. A unique job-creation partnership between UAlbany, SEFCU and Empire State Development (ESD), SEED is the Capital Region's first character-based microloan program designed to improve local economies in the Capital Region and surrounding counties by promoting and fostering small business and microenterprise development within distressed communities.

SEED incorporates intensive business counseling, training, ongoing mentorship, and peer support groups. All participants are required to complete a business plan and participate in eight weeks of training that will include topics such as business planning, legal issues, bookkeeping, and marketing.

ESD has recently approved a $99,924 grant to fund the second year of SEED operations, and the program was named a 2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award recipient.

Individuals may apply to participate in the SEED program by contacting Ryan Busch, Program Coordinator at (518) 518-380-5076 or via email at