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Need $ to Start a Business in Western PA? Read about Bridgeway Capital

October 20, 2010

Yesterday, at the Omni William Penn hotel, I attended the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Bridgeway Capital.  I had not known about this community development financial institution (CDFI) until this year and so quickly I wanted to write about the group.  … who they are and what they can do for entrepreneurs/new business owners?   During the dinner, they had a cool video playing about the institution and success stories of companies Bridgeway has funded.

Bridgeway is one of those organizations that has been a catalyst for what I call “New Pittsburgh” in contrast to Old Pittsburgh, a region to which both of my grandfathers immigrated, a region that once built its economy on steel and coal.  Times and have changed and over the past 20 years, the people at Bridgeway are the people that are making New Pittsburgh what it is.  And, so, I felt compelled to educate my clients and colleagues about it.

From the Bridgeway website …..

WHAT DO THEY DO? They transform entrepreneurial ideas into economic impact.  They provide money and tools for small business growth.  They create jobs, new businesses, and momentum across western Pennsylvania.

MISSION: The capital Bridgeway provides will drive business growth and new jobs, leading to a revitalized regional economy.

HISTORY: For 18 years, Bridgeway has provided unconventional financing to entrepreneurs and other small businesses looking to grow beyond their collateral base.  It provides both primary and secondary sources of financing, and often partner with a bank or other financial institution to find the best financial solution for the small business.  Their financing gives all small businesses – from the start-up entrepreneur to the established business – an opportunity to grow.

Started in 1990 as a housing and social service lender, Bridgeway Capital broadened its economic impact on the region by focusing on small business lending in 1994.  Throughout its history, they have applied a blend of entrepreneurial vision, community knowledge and operational expertise to strengthen and help reinvent the employment base of local communities.

Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Bridgeway Capital works within 15 counties across western Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, Westmoreland and Venango.

Is it a venture capital fund?

No, Bridgeway makes loans, and while some of its loans have equity-like features, they do not expect equity-like returns on investment. Bridgeway Capital provides financing to meet the needs of growing small businesses. It focuses its efforts on financing businesses that will increase jobs and drive economic growth.

Bridgeway Capital is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury Department, and is a member of the Opportunity Finance Network.

How Do You Apply for Funding?

Click here.  They have an online application for loans under $35,000 and a print application for loans over that amount.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2011 9:10 pm

    Do you just fund in Western PA? I think my clients can benefit from your program. Let me know, thanks !


    • December 15, 2011 4:13 pm

      I think think they mainly do fund just Western Pa. I am a business lawyer but would be happen to make the introduction to my contacts at Bridgeway. Feel free to call me. 412.995.3074.

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