Nonprofit hires business development officer
A local nonprofit plans to expand its microlending program and has hired a new business development officer to support the effort.
Kelli Smith recently joined Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, or GROW, in the new position.
She wil lead GROW’s business development initiatives to help small businesses and startups that "cannot get traditional loans" find funding.
Smith will also assist small businesses obtain funding that can be used for marketing, inventory, equipment and more.
GROW said her focus will be on lending money to support small business clients in both startup and growth modes.
She will also be a “key conduit” for connecting GROW clients and other businesses that need funding with "additional sources for loan/funding collaboration."
GROW said Smith brings more than 20 years of experience in business operations, client services, cost strategies and finance.
Smith comes from the Ludington area and successfully owned and operated her own business there for more than a decade.
“Having owned my own small business for several years, I understand how difficult the process can be from pre-startup to opening the doors,” Smith said.
She has been a long-time advisor for youth services through coordinating internships and mentoring high school and college students.
She has also served on the board of directors at Safe Harbor Credit Union and West Shore Community College and the Memorial Medical Center Benefit Committee.