What is an 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. Mercy Corps Northwest’s matched savings IDA Program operates on a 5:1 match ratio in Portland. 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. Our next application period will open in Spring 2020.
To see the most current paper application, click here.
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 spring 2020. You can also look for another IDA provider in the Portland Metro area here.
Ready to apply? Read the FAQ above to get answers to the most common questions we receive:
Review the “How Does an IDA Work” page before attending our informational session or applying for the IDA.
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