A Study of the funding landscape for entrepreneurs and small business

Part 1: A Study of Funders

AMRII_Funders Survey Cover

Part 2: A Study of Businesses

Cover Page Access to Finance Part 2

Project Team:

Dr. Jennifer Isern, Catalyze Global Impact LLC, Co-Lead and Technical Director

Morgan Slemberger, Women's Entrepreneurship & Leadership Lab, Co-Lead

Karl Unterschuetz, Accelerate Montana, Co-Lead

Kassi Strong, Strong Marketing & Strategy, Project Manager

Anna Smoot, AM Smoot Consulting, Editor and Report Layout

Connor Mostek, Accelerate Montana, Public Data Research

Carolyn Crowder, Accelerate Montana, Content Curation and Report Layout

John Baldridge,Bureau of Business & Economic Research, Quantitative Survey Director

Janet Stevens, Bureau of Business & Economic Research, Survey Collection Coordinator

Advisory Committee Members:

Marcy Allen, Missoula Community Foundation

Lad Barney, US Department of Agriculture Montana State Office

Kelcie Bates, Loan Officer, Great Northern Development

Rena Carlson, Small Business Administration

Steve Clairmont, Mission West Community Development

Brian Cooley, Stockman Bank

Brent Donnelly, Small Business Administration

Jenn Ewan, SOVA, PLLC

Scott Kesler, AgWest Farm Credit

Jenny Nygren, Wells Fargo Bank

Luke Robinson, Montana Department of Commerce, Indian Country Programs

David Rook, Clearwater Credit Union

Liane Taylor, Montana Department of Commerce

Maria Valandra, Clearwater Credit Union

Project Co-Lead and Technical Advisor:
Catalyze Global Impact logo

Financial Sponsors:



Montana Dept. of Commerce Logo

Quantitative Data Partner:

Bureau of Business and Economic research BBER logo

Institutional Support:

AMRII_EDA UC Progam Logo

Genesis of this Initiative: 

Accelerate Montana, Catalyze Global Impact LLC, and the Women's Entrepreneurship & Leadership Lab launched this initiative exploring Access to Finance for Businesses in Montana in 2022 to better understand:

  • Who provides small business finance in Montana

  • Which businesses receive financing

  • What type and volume of financing to businesses receive

  • What are the financing needs expressed by businesses

  • How to ease market bottlenecks in the flow of small business finance across Montana.

To achieve this goal, the project team, guided by a deeply experienced advisory committee from across Montana, designed and implemented two quantitative surveys and over 125 qualitative interviews from 2022 to 2023.

Part 1 - A Survey of Funders focused on lenders, investors, state and federal agencies, and foundations that fund Montana’s small businesses.

Part 2 - A Survey of Montana Businesses focused on business owners, from solo entrepreneurs to businesses employing more than 50 people.

This report provides quantitative information, views of specialists across the state, and recommendations that state and federal policymakers, lenders, investors, and economic development organizations can use in shaping small business programs. We hope the study findings will generate discussions to pursue new opportunities that will increase the flow of successful business financing in Montana.


Looking to Raise Capital in Montana?

Know the laws before you start. See the Securities and Insurance Office for a complete guide. Don't let the name scare you, they are very helpful. 


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