How the Individual Development Account (IDA) Works


Mercy Corps NW Entrepreneur Karina Potestio of Luna used an IDA Matching Grant to invest in business assets.

Karina Potestio of Luna expanded her small business by
purchasing a sewing machine through the MCNW grant
matching program.
  - Photo: Bruce MacGregor for MercyCorps

Start or Grow Your Small Business


WHAT IS AN IDA?

An Individual Development Account is a special savings account that helps families and individuals with limited financial resources save, build assets, and enter the financial mainstream.

Mercy Corps Northwest provides a specific IDA for starting or growing a small business.

(If you are interested in a housing or educational IDA, please see IDA provider list here.)


STEP 1: HOW DOES AN IDA WORK?

Choose between Mercy Corps Northwest’s 2 IDA options:

Option 1: Participants save $1,000 for a minimum of 6 months. Receive match grant of $3,000, for a total of $4,000
Option 2: Participants save $2,000 for a minimum of 1 year. Receive match grant of $6,000, for a total of $8,000
You will use the total to buy fixed business assets. (What is a fixed asset?)

MORE THAN MONEY
IDAs are meant to provide the skills necessary for you to successfully start or grow your business.
Mercy Corps Northwest requires the following before funds can be received.

  • Orientation (Free)
  • Business Foundations 1 or 2 ($175, partial scholarship available)
  • 1 Deep-Dive Seminar: $25 (Free seminar coupon with Foundations Course Completion)
  • 2 Business Plan Counseling Events: $25 each (Free seminar coupon with Counseling completion)
  • Completion of Approved Business Plan

  • Total Upfront Program Investment: $250 ($140 with scholarship and free coupon use)

    STEP 2: DO YOU QUALIFY