Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc. (MCE) is a private nonprofit that helps build communities by supporting self-employed small business owners who are committed to their businesses, but who otherwise lack the experience or credit history that could give them access to conventional loans and other financial products.
MCE has been operating on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for over 16 years, where it provides small business loans, business counseling and business education, and helps develop business plans for entrepreneurs so that they can start, expand or purchase existing businesses. In 2012, MCE expanded its operations into Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County.
MCE is the only Maryland lender with all four certifications: (1) US Treasury certification as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI); and certification as (2) an SBA Intermediary Micro-lender; (3) a USDA Intermediary Micro-lender; and a (4) State of Maryland Intermediary Micro-lender.
Women’s Business Center
Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc. opened the Women’s Business Centers (WBC) in Salisbury and Baltimore in October 2013. The WBC serves women entrepreneurs who reside in MCE’s service area. The centers provide training, consulting, counseling and mentoring with local women entrepreneurs for women looking to start their own business and for those women already operating their own businesses in the target areas.
The mission is to help empower these women to grow their businesses, create jobs and generate wealth. The center activities are designed to affect substantial economic impact in the communities we serve, with successful business start-ups and retention as well as increased company revenues.
Small Business Loans
MCE makes small business loans, typically between $5,000 and $50,000, (up to $150,000 for existing businesses). Applicants must be sole proprietors, partners, corporations or LLCs. Terms may be up to 10 years. Interest rates are 5%-12% based on credit rating and other factors. Collateral is required. (Additional terms and conditions apply.)
MCE also has a Credit Builder loan program for loans between $500 and $4,999, with terms of 12-36 months, depending upon the amount of the loan. Interest rates are 12%-16% based on credit rating and collateral. Collateral is not always required, but it is accepted and can help strengthen an application and reduce the interest rate.
Applications are judged on: Clearly established business idea/thoroughness of business plan; experience in the field; strength of cash flow; strength of collateral; reasonable credit, (good/consistent for at least 12 months, no bankruptcies in last 2 years); general economic conditions for the venture; and ability to repay the loan.
MCE works very closely with its applicants to help them understand the process, complete all the requirements of the application, including a business plan, and put their best foot forward.
MCE provides free counseling, seminars and training, assistance with business plans, mentoring, counseling, and other technical assistance to small business owners, as well as ongoing business support to its loan customers.
MCE operates a Women's Business Center on the Eastern Shore and in Baltimore, which provides counseling and mentoring services, networking and other opportunities to women entrepreneurs.