Why Our Work Is
86% of Nebraska and Southwest Iowa businesses are small or micro-businesses.
Micro-businesses include self-employed, start-up, home-based, or other small businesses. They play a crucial role in powering our local, state, and national economies.
“By participating in the workshops and utilizing their resources, my business saw an increase of 10% revenue the first five months I started working with NEF. This is a lot for a business that had only seen an increase in revenue of 2% in the previous four years!”
Investing in the Underserved Small and Micro Business Owner.
That’s where we come in – an ally dedicated to supporting you and your vision of success; a champion eager to partner for what’s possible.
We Are Nebraska Enterprise Fund. | A statewide microenterprise intermediary and Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing business development services and financing to micro and small businesses across Nebraska.
Mission | The Nebraska Enterprise Fund supports underserved communities by providing micro and small businesses with access to training, technical assistance and capital.
Who We Serve | NEF serves a target market of traditionally disadvantaged small businesses, including those owned by people of color, low-income people, women and veterans.
Supporting Financial Empowerment
and Alleviating Poverty.
With multiple microprograms developing across Nebraska in the early 1990s, the state needed an organization to assist in procuring grant and loan funds to meet long-term operational and lending needs. Nebraska Enterprise Fund (NEF) launched in 1994.
A Focus on Innovation
Over the years, NEF has continued to innovate and develop new products and systems for the field, including:
- Microenterprise Information Referral System (MIRS) | linking microprograms with banks to serve unbankable customers; providing support for NEF’s Business Resource Directory.
- Tax Preparation/Literacy Documents prepared with program partners | Helping businesses enter the formal economy by paying taxes.
- New loan products | Filling gaps where businesses may not have access to capital.
[The Next Step | Expansion into Iowa]
NEF has maintained a strong presence in Omaha, Nebraska, serving a high percentage of low-income and immigrant and Hispanic entrepreneurs in the community. Just four miles to the east of Omaha is neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa, the county seat of Pottawatomie County with a population of close to 100,000.
NEF has received an increasing number of inquiries from Iowa entrepreneurs and bankers with requests for loans in this area. With few other non-traditional lending options available for small businesses, NEF will expand services into Iowa in FY2021, focusing on the neighboring community of Council Bluffs and the Western portion of the state.
Partnering for What’s Possible | By donating to NEF, you are investing in Nebraska’s economic future and the success of its hard-working small and micro business owners.
We envision a vibrant small business ecosystem where every small and micro business has the opportunity to start, grow, and prosper.
Your Goals Are Our Goals Too.
NEF Board of Directors
The Nebraska Enterprise Fund in governed by a diverse, volunteer Board of Directors with guidance from its Advisory Committee
Board Vice Chairperson
|First National Bank Omaha
|Omaha Community Foundtion
|Opportunity Finance Network (OFN)
|CIT (formerly Mutual of Omaha)
|Nebraska Department of Economic Development
|Great Western Bank
|Iowa West Foundation
|Bank of the West
|Charles E. Lakin Foudation
|Weitz Family Foundation
|TS Community Foundation
|William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation