Earn a Small Business Grant (IDA)


Ready to start or grow your business with limited resources? An Individual Development Account may be right for you.


An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a special savings vehicle that helps families and individuals with limited financial resources build assets, gain valuable training, and enter the financial mainstream.

At Mercy Corps Northwest, our small business IDAs invest in the personal and financial growth of entrepreneurs to build strong small business communities throughout Oregon.  The Mercy Corps NW IDA match savings program operates on a 5:1 match ratio. This means that every dollar an IDA Program participants saves, will be matched with $5 in grant money. The savings goal for all participants is $1,000, matched with $5,000 in grant money, for a total of $6,000. The length of time you save and participate in the program is determined by both your budget (how much you can afford to save) as well as how much time you need to be ready to launch your business plans. The minimum participation period is 13 months. Graduating participants will also be pre-approved for a $1,000 credit building loan.

Clients who participate in our IDA program come from wide-ranging backgrounds, from food carts to contractors, lawn maintenance technicians to janitorial ventures. IDAs empower any individual in our state with the desire to become an entrepreneur–regardless of race, ethnicity, involvement with the criminal justice system, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, or citizenship status–to realize their dreams and not only grow the assets of themselves and/or their family but also contribute to the economic strength of our state as a whole.

The application period is now closed.

The next application period will open in mid-November 2019.

Before attending our informational session or applying for the IDA, please take a look at the requirements to determine your eligibility. 

Please keep in mind: submitting an application doesn’t ensure acceptance. Priority consideration is given to applicants who face the greatest barriers to financial inclusion and asset accumulation. If you were not able to submit in time to be considered, never fear: a new application session will open in mid-November.  You can also look for another IDA provider in the Portland Metro area by clicking on this link


NOTE: Applicants must have completed one of following business classes within a year of applying and submit proof of attendance (if the class was taken outside of MCNW).

1) Mercy Corps NW Understand Your Credit Seminar To register, click here.

2) Mercy Corps NW Business Foundations I: To view upcoming classes, click here.

3) Mercy Corps NW Business Foundations II: To view upcoming classes, click here.

4) Mercy Corps NW Business Plan Workshop: To view upcoming classes, click here.

5) Livelihood NW Business Development Workshop Series: To view upcoming classes, click here.
(Other classes can be considered for credit towards the requirements. If you have taken a class that comprises at least 18 hours, feel free to run it by us).

Other business workshops may qualify. If you would like to find out if they do, please contact the IDA staff.


إذا كنت ترغب بأن يتصل بك شخص من فريق المنح للمشاريع الصغيرة للتكلم باللغة العربية – إضغط هنا

Если Вы заинтересованы в прохождении программы на русском языке и хотите быть в курсе мероприятий на русском языке, пожалуйста, заполните данную форму.


Next: How Does an IDA Work?

or, visit our FAQs page for more information