Alternative savings program for people with limited income

Michigan Saves Individual Development Account Program is a savings program that can help build a financial platform to start or expand your own business.

As an aspiring entrepreneur or budding small business owner a struggle you may face is not having enough cash; to purchase materials, attend training that may push your business past a competitor or get that new tool to make your job easier. The Michigan Saves Individual Development Account (I.D.A.) program is an option that may be able to assist you in obtaining those needs. 

The I.D.A. program participants are at-or-below the federal poverty level and want to gain the financial knowledge and opportunity to save for starting or expanding a business. The ultimate goal is for the program participants to change their mindset and relationship with money. Participants are required to complete financial management classes and training related to their asset goal all while saving regularly in their account. 

The savings portion of the I.D.A. is a deposit match program. A minimum average monthly deposit of at least $20.00 from your earned income is required. Every dollar saved, up to $1,000, is matched with $2. At the end of the program, the participant could have as much as $3,000 to purchase materials, equipment, or services for starting or expanding their business. 

This program is more than a small business fund or free money; an I.D.A. helps with financial accountability and counseling to participants, helping to show the changes required to build a more financially sound and self-sufficient future. I.D.A.’s facilitate economic development for families and their community. 

Having the right tools and resources are essential to having a successful business.

Michigan State University Extension partner the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) offers many entrepreneurial tools online. Through their website there is a business assistance tab that has; business plan templates, sources of capital, industry analysis and other useful links. The NLEA is a public/private non-profit organization serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet Counties in Michigan. They strategically work with public and private organizations including government officials, community and business leaders, area entrepreneurs, local, state and federal program leaders and all partners involved in growing the entrepreneurial community and economic vitality of Northern Michigan. To learn more about the NLEA call 231-582-6482 or visit their website.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.” 

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