Case Studies

Fund Case Study

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute Case Study


Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute is a Colorado-based CDFI, founded in 2008 with the mission to enable people of all backgrounds to realize their unique potential through the power of entrepreneurship.


RMMFI focuses on very small businesses in the early/idea stage in and around Denver — providing a multi-faceted suite of support services and products. Over its 14 year history, RMMFI has supported more than 300 small businesses, representing a diverse background:

  • 100% low income
  • 82% people of color
  • 68% women
  • 57% previously denied a business loan when seeking traditional capital
  • 48% households with children
  • 10% formerly incarcerated

RMMFI’s programmatic Alternatively Underwritten Lending program is offered in phases, corresponding to the three distinct stages of business support they provide:

  1. Idea | Program: 24 hours of education, coaching, and pitch practice through a 5-session Business Idea Lab, focused on the foundations of business ownership. Mentorship to encourage both personal and business development. Connections to partner organizations for help overcoming business barriers. Coaching support for preparing an application for Launch bootcamp. 

Capital: $500, 0% interest “seed loans” to test viability of business idea

  1. Launch | Program: 15 hours per week for 12 weeks of mentorship, instruction and coaching from volunteers and staff according to a proven and specialized curriculum. Discounted accounting services to establish business financial practices. Additional graduate resources include a peer support group, skill-building workshops, a free coworking space, virtual and live marketplaces, and promotion through RMMFI’s business directory. In total, the Launch phase of RMMFI programming lasts 15 months.

Capital: Access to Launch microloans (up to $2,500), available to all program participants. Low to no interest, flexible repayment terms. 

  1. Thrive | Program: Cohort-based educational programs focused on the unique issues businesses face as they move from startup to expansion. Relevant mentorship and technical assistance to help navigate the challenges that come with a growing business. Expert-led workshops to continue developing the entrepreneurial and leadership skills necessary for business success.

Capital: Microloans ranging from $5Kto $75K to support the continued growth of the business.

RMMFI Loan Fund Outcomes: 

  • $878,000 lent 
  • 94% loan repayment rate 
  • 84% business survivorship 4 years after participation 
  • 72% of entrepreneurs reported increasing their household income