U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)
The purpose of the Rural Microentrepreneur (RMAP) program is to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises (businesses generally with 10 employees or fewer and in need of financing in the amount of $50,000 or less). The program provides loans and grants to rural Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs), which are organizations that:
- Provide training and technical assistance; and/or
- Take microloans or facilitate access to capital or another related service; and/or
- Have a demonstrated record of delivering, or plan to develop a program to deliver such services.
Loans and grants support the provision of microloans to rural microenterprises and microentrepreneurs; provision of business-based training and technical assistance to rural microborrowers and potential microborrowers; and other such activities as deemed appropriate to ensure the development and ongoing success of rural microenterprises.
Amount: Technical assistance grants range from $30,000 to $205,000 and average between $75,000-$100,000.
Eligibility: Nonprofits, federally-recognized tribes, and institutions of higher learning are eligible to be an MDO. MDOs must demonstrate experience in managing a revolving loan fund (a pool of public- and private-sector funds that recycles money as loans are repaid). The lender may be located anywhere but funding must be used to support a rural area outside a city or town with a population of less than 50,000. The borrower’s headquarters may be based within a larger city as long as the project service area is meets eligibility requirements.
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