The $248 million Christian Financial Credit Union in Roseville, Mich., has launched CU@Soup, a program for members to pitch their business ideas to other members.
Members interested in pitching their ideas will put together a five to 10-page business plan, including information on what their product or service will be, what makes it unique, expense projections, what market area the business will serve, who the customers will be and how the business will be promoted.
Pitches will be reviewed by the credit union. Up to four members will be selected to present at the dinner. Each member who attends the dinner will pay $5 in exchange for a meal and voting privileges. At the end, attendees will vote on their favorite concept. The winner will receive the pool of funds collected at the dinner as a micro grant.
"Start-up entrepreneurs often find themselves struggling to find the resources they need to take their concept from idea to implementation," said Lauren Vance, vice president of strategic development and product delivery at Christian Financial. "We want to be a resource to our members and help connect them with the funding they need, even early on in the development of their business."
In addition to the dinner opportunity, Christian Financial has partnered with the Roseville Entrepreneurial Development Initiative to expose members who are interested in doing business in Roseville to an even bigger opportunity.
Plans submitted for CU@Soup will also be reviewed for eligibility to receive larger grant dollars through REDI, as well as small business loan funding from Christian Financial.
The combination in funding between REDI and Christian Financial could mean as much as $38,000 per business based on meeting eligibility requirements, according to the CU.