MORTAR debuts Iron Chest Fund loans for entrepreneurs

On Nov. 15, MORTAR kicked off its Iron Chest Fund with a #100for100 campaign. The entrepreneurship hub is looking for 100 people to donate between $100-1,000 to help small business owners launch their ideas.
MORTAR was inspired by Mayor John Cranley’s State of the City speech this year, which highlighted the importance of having a vibrant and diverse ecosystem where everyone, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status, has a chance to participate.
The goal is to raise $100,000, but Iron Chest Fund’s Managing Director Derrick Braziel said he’s shooting for $300,000. The fund has already been pledged a $50,000 matching grant from Matt Butler, Signature Hardware’s president, by Jan. 1.
The fund will provide zero percent interest micro-loans of up to $10,000 to local entrepreneurs who typically wouldn’t be qualified for a loan through a traditional bank. Every potential recipient will take a financial literacy and money management course before receiving a loan.
Nine local entrepreneurs have already been chosen to receive loans through the Iron Chest Fund. Recipients include apparel companies, a men’s consignment shop and a paleo-friendly restaurant.
You can donate to the Iron Chest Fund here.
MORTAR is also having its seventh Life’s a Pitch-Mortar Pitch Night and Graduation at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the Lindner YMCA at 1425 Linn St., 45214. Admission is $5.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.