10,000 Businesses and Counting
Highlights from the Energize Colorado 2022 Impact Report
As Energize Colorado wraps up 2022 (our third year of operation), I am excited to share highlights from our Impact Report. Supported by our partners, volunteers and board members, the Energize Colorado team has made significant progress toward building a more resilient ecosystem in Colorado by supporting small businesses, particularly those owned by the most underinvested in groups of entrepreneurs: women, rural, veterans, and BIPOC.
The numbers are impressive. Since Energize Colorado’s founding in March, 2020, we have:
- supported 10,000 businesses through Energize Colorado programs
- provided 5,000 businesses with $45M in grants and loans
- engaged 650 volunteers
- collaborated with 75+ partners in the promotion and delivery of first the Energize Community program
In 2022, Energize Colorado:
- awarded $41 million in grants to 4,363 entrepreneurs across underinvested in communities
- deployed more than $1.7 million in low-interest loan dollars to 92 entrepreneurs across the state
- mentored 65 entrepreneurs in the 10-week Energize Community Accelerator
- launched the Community Resource Compass, including 75 community resources
- surveyed 14,000 small business owners for the Small Business Resiliency Index (SBRI)
Strength in Three Core Areas
In 2022, Energize Colorado shifted focus to strengthen capabilities in three core areas: capital deployment, ecosystem innovation, and research and insights. Energize Colorado now delivers capital through our new revolving loan fund, which expedites the time it takes from loan application to receiving funds. The Energize Community Program (ECP) is Energize Colorado’s fprogram that deploys funds through our revolving loan fund.
From the start, Energize Colorado focused on ecosystem innovation through leveraging the expertise of our team and volunteers to fill gaps within the small business ecosystem. This year, we identified two specific gaps: 1) the lack of a technical assistance resource directory, and 2) the challenges of capital absorption.
Research and insights set Energize Colorado apart from other lenders. The Small Business Resiliency Index (SBRI) has been incorporated with all of our capital programs. The SBRI is the first comprehensive index that tracks the impacts of society’s economic cycles on the Colorado small business ecosystem and the barriers small business owners face in building resiliency and inclusivity into their future growth. By measuring the resiliency of small businesses, business owners can better understand what to do to become more resilient in the event of the next economic downturn.
Looking Forward to 2023—and Beyond
We are excited to iterate on ECP and continue our mission of building a more resilient and equitable small business ecosystem in Colorado. We pride ourselves on being builders and innovators – this is our secret sauce – but none of it would work without the community of volunteers, partners, community leaders, elected officials, and generous supporters who believe in our mission to support the most underinvested in entrepreneurs in our state, as they are the bedrock of Colorado’s culture and prosperity.