VSJF launches new flexible capital fund

first_imgThe Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) today announced the launch of the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C. The fund is the first business-lending program in Vermont focused on royalty financing for growth stage businesses ‘ and one of only two such investment-lending programs of its scale in New England.Using investment tools such as royalty financing and subordinated debt, the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund (Flex Fund) provides small businesses in Vermont with access to the flexible risk capital they need to grow – without having to give up their ownership stake in the company.The Flex Fund is also unique in that it is specifically targeted to support Vermont companies in value-added agricultural, forest products, and clean technology sectors.‘Business owners who can’t find the right match of capital to grow their businesses now have one more option available to them ‘ a flexible, higher-risk debt instrument that won’t force an exit strategy in order to pay back the investor,’ said VSJF Flexible Capital Fund President Janice St. Onge. ‘The Flex Fund provides them with the flexible and patient capital they need, and also offers investors a tangible way to support the growth of Vermont’s green business sectors.’The VSJF created the Flex Fund with the help of a $500,000 federal appropriation secured by US Senator Patrick Leahy in 2010. These funds were leveraged to raise $1.2 million from private accredited investors. The fund is seeking to raise another $2.3 million. When fully capitalized, the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund will have $4 million to invest in projects that benefit Vermont.Current accredited investors in the Flex Fund include foundations, Vermont organizations and private individuals who are looking for ways to invest locally in the Vermont community.‘This isn’t your average low-cost loan, but we’re cheaper than equity,’ said St. Onge. ‘Until now, flexible risk capital at a Vermont scale has been out of reach for many of our small businesses ‘ specifically those in our natural resource and clean technology sectors. The Flex Fund is filling a critical gap in their financing options. They need more choices of flexible capital across the risk continuum to grow and prosper, and now they’ll finally have access to it.’Businesses receiving capital through the Flex Fund also have the added advantage of instant access to the networks, expertise, mentoring services and technical assistance programs of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.‘In that sense, we’re very different from the traditional investment model. We nurture the businesses we lend to every step of the way to ensure a positive outcome – providing the strategic counsel, mentoring and critical infrastructure support that entrepreneurs really need as they grow their businesses.’‘When we were looking for growth capital a few years ago there was nothing like the Flex Fund available,’ said Tom Stearns, founder of High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott. ‘We had to go out ourselves and find the right kind of patient investor that didn’t require us to sell out. It was hard work and took a lot of time and education on our part. The Flex Fund offers another way to link into flexible capital without having to make raising money a full time job!’St. Onge said the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund is now looking for companies in Vermont’s green business sectors who are in need of flexible risk capital, as well as accredited investors who want to see their investments working directly in the Vermont communities they live and work in.About The VSJF Flexible Capital FundThe VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C is a mission-based, low-profit limited liability company, an investment structure that combines the financial advantages of the limited liability company (LLC) with the social advantages of a non-profit entity (501c3) by focusing investment on in socially beneficial, for-profit ventures. It provides near-equity or mezzanine financing to targeted Vermont growth companies in sustainable agriculture and food systems, forest products, renewable energy, waste management and other green economy sectors.The VSJF Flexible Capital Fund is a separate entity created by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), which develops markets for sustainably produced goods and services to create jobs for the next generation of Vermonters. The VSJF provides grants and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, businesses, and farmers, to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy.www.vsjf.org/what-we-do/flexible-capital-fund(link is external)last_img read more

10 things that can kill marketing at your credit union

first_img 124SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amanda Thomas Amanda is founder and president of TwoScore, a firm that channels her passion for the credit union mission and people to help credit unions under $100 million in assets reach … Web: www.twoscore.com Details While there are many external factors that make marketing a difficult art, the success of a marketing campaign is within your control. In fact, here are ten things that undermine the success of your marketing efforts.Not having an objective. There is a seemingly endless list of “shiny” things out there that you could try for marketing to your members – some successful, others not. However, if there isn’t a larger “why” behind spending those precious marketing dollars, such as to “increase auto loan portfolio” or “grow membership,” it could quickly backfire on you. It is important to keep your marketing efforts aligned with the overall business objectives of your credit union.Not having a target audience. I hate to break it to you, but your credit union isn’t an appealing choice to everyone – and that’s a good thing (and means you are on the right track)! In an effort to attract anyone, credit unions regularly try to market to “everyone,” which causes a complete disconnect with consumers through generic messaging and creative design. Choose a target audience based on the service or product by determining for whom it is best suited. For what kind of person is this account/loan/product? What lifestyle would find it most appealing and convenient? Where do they live? How do they communicate with your credit union? How do they bank with you? Then narrow your strategy from there.Not knowing your audience. You may have the best credit union in history, but, if you don’t really know your audience – what is important to them, where to reach them, how to reach them – and commit to connecting with them, no one is going to hear the great story you have to tell. Make sure the products/services/brand you are selling is relevant to the target audience(s) you have chosen and you say it in a way that is compelling to them.Not having a strategy. Strategy is largely built on the needs of the specific audience(s) for a given campaign. Each audience should have its own strategy for how you are going to reach them. Blanket marketing doesn’t work, and it is also really expensive. A solid strategy outlines which tactics and which delivery channels you’re going to use to reach your given objective for the campaign or initiative.Being self-focused. You have identified a target market for your campaign, but now what? Making it about you and not them is a sure way to have your commercial dialed to another station or direct mail piece thrown into the trash. Look at your campaign from a consumer’s perspective, and answer the question “how will this make my life better?” The answer to this question will drive your messaging in the proper direction.Lacking employee buy-in. I personally believe this is the most important of them all. You could have the most beautiful marketing campaign, rock solid messaging and a huge budget for delivery and, yes, you will see some results. However, not involving your employees from the beginning of the process and getting their important feedback and buy-in can cause them to feel alienated and unimportant. Depending on the culture of your credit union, this could backfire as disgruntled employees try to work against the successful momentum you’ve been working to build. Engage them early and often through the process. They are your champions and need to be treated as such. They are the face of your organization, after all.Not educating your employees. If you took the necessary time to talk to your coworkers about their ideas for an upcoming campaign, make sure you spend the necessary time educating them about it before it goes live. Whether it is at a staff meeting beforehand – or, depending on the size and number of branches of your credit union, you or a branch manager personally delivers a campaign description, talking about it with each employee – spending time on this step is vitally important.Not communicating results. If you did an effective job of educating your employees and getting them excited about the campaign, they will want to know how and where their efforts are paying off. Find the communication style that best suits your credit union, whether it is through weekly emails to everyone, utilizing the employee intranet or weekly “huddles” at the branch. We tend to get sick of seeing our campaign throughout its course, so it is important to spend time on this step in order to keep everyone excited and continue forward momentum.Moving on. Yes, the campaign was launched at the beginning of the month, but that shouldn’t be the last time you look at it until it’s over. Failing to monitor its success means you miss crucial opportunities to adjust and continue to make it better as the campaign goes on, increasing your overall results and return on investment.Not living your credit union’s brand. This is true not only in the development of the campaign pieces, but also in how your credit union goes about its daily business of serving members. Make sure your campaign effectively communicates and lets your credit union’s brand shine. Make sure the experience in the branches and among all of your communication channels is a consistent and wonderful one that is true to your credit union’s brand and vision.Creating success in marketing is tactical; it requires a well-reasoned approach that is different for each credit union. It is also delicate, meaning that small oversights can run sound efforts off the rails. By being sure to avoid these common pitfalls, each effort you make at marketing will be better than the last. Then, the conversation is changed. You will go from trying to justify a marketing expense, to tackling the next opportunity to communicate your credit union’s unique story and brand. You become extraordinary.last_img read more

Renovated beauty up for grabs in Woody Point

first_imgInside the home at 72 King St, Woody Point.All the work has been done in this renovated family home so all you need to do is move in. My Property Shop marketing agent, Tracey Burns the property at 72 King St, Woody Point had been a much loved family home for decades and had recently been revamped. The home has a tiled, open-plan living and dining area and an open galley kitchen with white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and walk-through pantry. More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The new bathroom at 72 King St, Woody Point.The open plan area opens to the undercover deck with outdoor kitchen. Back inside, there are three airconditioned bedrooms with an ensuite and walk-in wardrobe to the main. The main bathroom has a deep bath and large shower and there is a separate toilet. Timber floors feature in the bedrooms at 72 King St, Woody Point.The home also has polished timber floors, single lockup garage and a modern laundry. The lowset house is walking distance to schools, shops and parks and about1.5km from the waterfront. The home is on the market for offers over $549,000.last_img read more

Hart wants to end career at City

first_img Press Association The 27-year-old has reportedly been in talks over a lucrative new five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium for several months. City manager Manuel Pellegrini last week said he expected negotiations to be completed imminently and Hart has now revealed the contract is all but signed. Hart, who has won two Barclays Premier League titles with City, says he has no intention of leaving a club where he is very happy. He said: “How could I not be? I love this place and I love everything about Manchester City. “I have been here for a long time. I feel like it is my club now and I want to be here as long as I can. “As far as I am aware it is pretty much sorted. I leave it to the legal side to sort but I am very happy at this club and hopefully in the near future I will be signing that contract.” Hart joined City from Shrewsbury for £600,000 in 2006. He emerged as a senior player during a successful loan at Birmingham in 2009-10 and he returned to City to supplant Shay Given as first choice the following season. Such was the impression he made that he soon also established himself as England’s number one. He went through a sticky spell last season when a series of errors led to him being dropped by Pellegrini. He responded well to that setback and reasserted himself in the second half of the campaign and City’s summer signing of a new deputy in Willy Caballero has seen him step up again. News of his potential new deal comes after another outstanding display as City snatched a place in the Champions League last 16 with a famous 2-0 away win at Roma on Wednesday. He said: “I feel good at the moment and the team is working well. I feel like I am doing my bit and the boys are doing it at the other end.” center_img England goalkeeper Joe Hart says he wants to stay at Manchester City for the rest of his career as he prepares to sign a new contract.last_img read more

NW State looks to sweep Incarnate Word

first_img February 11, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditIncarnate Word (7-16, 4-8) vs. Northwestern State (10-12, 7-6)Prather Coliseum, Natchitoches, Louisiana; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Northwestern State goes for the season sweep over Incarnate Word after winning the previous matchup in San Antonio. The teams last met on Jan. 8, when the Demons shot 39.7 percent from the field while limiting Incarnate Word to just 31.6 percent en route to a six-point victory. Associated Press YOUTH MOVEMENT: Incarnate Word has relied heavily on its freshmen. Drew Lutz, Keaston Willis, Vincent Miszkiewicz and Marcus Larsson have combined to account for 55 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 57 percent of all Cardinals points over the team’s last five games.DOMINANT DREW: Lutz has connected on 30.9 percent of the 94 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 21 over his last five games. He’s also made 87.3 percent of his foul shots this season.SIGNIFICANCE OF 66: Incarnate Word is 0-14 when its offense scores 66 points or fewer. Northwestern State is a perfect 5-0 when it holds opponents to 66 or fewer points.ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Cardinals have recently created buckets via assists more often than the Demons. Northwestern State has 36 assists on 89 field goals (40.4 percent) across its previous three outings while Incarnate Word has assists on 31 of 71 field goals (43.7 percent) during its past three games.STINGY STATE: Northwestern State has held opposing teams to only 39.8 percent shooting, the lowest percentage among all Southland teams. Against conference opponents, the Demons have held opposing shooters to 38.9 percent.___center_img NW State looks to sweep Incarnate Word For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Ghana FA to hold press conference over World Cup failure

first_imgIn the wake of Ghana’s exit from the FIFA World Cup in the group stage, the Ghana Football Association will hold a press conference in Accra to shed light on the country’s abysmal performance.The press conference to be held at the Alisa Hotel at 1.00 pm today is expected to give a blow-by-blow account of the national team’s participation in the tournament.Ghana made their third-straight appearance at the World Cup in Brazil. But they crashed out after losing to Portugal in the last Group G game. Woeful on-the -pitch performance was outclassed by much more woeful performance off-the-pitch.Ghana coach Kwasi Appiah, the GFA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi and the entire Black Stars squad especially Sulley Muntari and attacker Kevin Prince Boateng find themselves on the chopping board of strong criticism following a less-than-the-standard performance at the World Cup.Sulley and Kelvin were sacked from the camp before the game against Portugal for acts of indiscipline. There were persistent media reports of some players fomenting mutiny. And they were earlier denied by the GFA. The final straw was after the players insisted on receiving their $100,000 appearance fee or boycott the game. The government okayed the physical transfer of $3 million to Brazil via a chartered flight hours before the game. Nonetheless, Ghana lost 2-1 to Portugal, activating a first round exit – short of an ambition to reach the semi-finalsGhana FA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi has attributed the failure by the Black Stars to cross the first round at this year’s World Cup to the “appearance fee syndrome”.”Money, money, money had been the refrain by the players, and it is a pity they allowed this to ruin our World Cup,” he has lamented.The president has called for a committee to investigate the record failure.last_img read more