Grow Delaware Fund History

Our History

Our story starts with the success of the GROW WILMINGTON FUND. Discover set up the GROW WILMINGTON FUND in 2014 in partnership with the city of Wilmington. The City and Discover partnered with NDC, a non-profit based in New York City, to underwrite and service the loans. The GROW WILMINGTON FUND, which operated only within Wilmington’s city limits, was successful in supporting economic development and retaining/creating jobs. Based on this success, Discover wanted to expand the program’s reach statewide. West End Neighborhood House, due to its experience and broad network in the field of economic development and job growth initiatives, was asked to manage the Grow Delaware Fund as the local partner. West End’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Ensure small businesses throughout Delaware have access to the Fund, especially those in underserved business sectors and areas
  • Create a broad network to reach Delaware’s small businesses
  • Expand the Fund’s loan pool by increasing the number of investors

  • Serve as a liaison between NDC/client during the financial review process

  • Work with Fund partners, and public/private organizations to determine best practices to support small businesses
  • Coordinate with the City of Wilmington for businesses eligible to participate in the Grow Delaware Fund

Our Mission

The Grow Delaware Fund is a Delaware based small business lending program designed to provide financing to growing small businesses across the state. The Grow Delaware Fund operates as a community development lender to support the creation of jobs and the expansion of eligible small businesses in under-served communities, particularly those owned by minorities, veterans and women.

Our Work

The Grow Delaware Fund was founded in July 2017. It is a partnership with the National Development Council (NDC) and West End Neighborhood House (West End). The program was funded with grants from Discover Bank, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, the Longwood Foundation and Delaware’s Department of State through the Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism.

The Grow Delaware Fund offers relatively low cost, fixed-rate financing and, due to its economic development criteria, has more flexibility in working with businesses than most conventional lending institutions.

Grow Delaware Fund loans are partially guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under NDC Grow America Fund’s Small Business Lending Company license. NDC has Preferred Lender status nationwide.

As a lender focused on community development, Grow Delaware Fund provides loans that will offer the greatest opportunity to sustain and grow the business and its jobs, and economic health of the community. Grow Delaware Fund offers the following competitive terms that are designed to meet those goals.

  • Longer Terms Loans: Repayment schedules (up to 25 years) that give the borrower smaller monthly loan payments to reserve cash flow for other business needs

  • Larger Loans: Loan amounts ranging from $100,000 to in excess of $2 million
  • Lower Down Payments: Preserve the business’s equity and maximize growth potential
  • Lower Interest Rates: Cash savings allow the business to continue to provide and add jobs in the community
  • Better Structure: Match the term of the loan to the life of the assets being financed, ensuring debt service does not exceed available cash flow

Read About The Grow Delaware Fund Launch

Delaware Online Article:
Grow Delaware Fund Aims to Help Small Businesses Grow and Create Jobs

Grow Delaware Fund Partners