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Helping Innovators Grow Roots

State Small Business Credit Initiative

Boosting Small Business

Alabama’s small businesses make the state better. Alabama’s State Small Business Credit Initiative aims to stimulate private sector lending through LendAL, which partners with private lenders to extend credit to small businesses and entrepreneurs, fostering growth, innovation and job creation across the state. InvestAL offers high-match investments in high-growth startups, investors and early-stage capital funds in order to infuse capital in the economy.


The State Small Business Credit Initiative will administer $97 million in funding to Alabama small businesses, creating opportunities and growth for businesses across the state, with 56% of the funds being distributed to SEDI (Socially or Economically Disadvantaged Individuals) owned and controlled businesses. The initiative includes InvestAL, providing funds for startups seeking to raise capital and making investments in venture capital funds, and LendAL, providing fair access to funds for small businesses of all kinds.



InvestAL operates an early-stage venture capital fund and fund of funds platform to support high growth, venture backable startups that have headquarters in Alabama. All equity and limited partner investments require a minimum of a 1:1 private investment, must complete extensive due diligence and agree to Treasury quarterly and annual reporting. Direct investment checks sizes range from $5,000 to $1,000,000 in exchange for equity (some ownership) of the company. Fund of fund investments are for established venture capital funds and range from $500,000 to $1,000,000.



LendAL works with lenders across Alabama to provide Alabama-based small businesses with expanded access to capital. Through LendAL, small businesses headquartered in Alabama or with Alabama residents as founders are eligible for loans.

Technical Assistance

To support Alabama businesses and lenders applying for the State Small Business Credit Initiative, there is technical assistance available consisting of legal, accounting and financial advisory services. Alabama thrives when Alabama businesses thrive, so we connect founders with the resources they need.


In Alabama, technical assistance is readily available for those applying for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. Experts from the Small Business Development Center and the Mobile Chamber of Commerce are on hand to guide you through the application process, ensuring you can access the support your business needs.

Empowering Diversity: Alabama’s SSBCI Support

Alabama provides additional, targeted technical assistance for minority entrepreneurs applying for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. This specialized support aims to empower minority-owned businesses, helping them navigate the application process and access vital resources. 

What is a SEDI-owned and controlled business?

A portion of SSBCI capital will be invested into SEDI (Socially or Economically Disadvantaged Individual) owned and controlled businesses, meaning at least 51 percent of the business is owned and controlled by SEDI individuals meeting one or more definitions from the following criteria:

CDFI Investment Areas

Individuals whose residence and/or business address is located in Community Development Financial Institution-designated (CDFI) investment areas, or the business will operate a future location in a CDFI investment area.

Additional SEDI Definitions

Individuals who have had their access to credit on reasonable terms diminished as compared to others in comparable economic circumstances, due to their:

  • Membership of a group that has been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons
  • Gender
  • Veteran status
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Disability
  • Long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society
  • Membership of a federally or state-recognized Indian Tribe
  • Long-term residence in a rural community
  • Residence in a U.S. territory
  • Residence in a community undergoing economic transitions (including communities impacted by the shift towards a net-zero economy or deindustrialization)
  • Membership of another underserved community, such as persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for a loan?

We will begin accepting applications in early 2024.

How do I apply for a loan?

When the application process is open, you will be able to apply for a loan directly on the website.

When will funds be available?

Funds will be available early 2024.

How do I apply for InvestAL?

Startups seeking venture capital will reach out to pitch investors and will typically provide a pitch deck for consideration. Eligible venture funds targeting capital will apply online.

How is Alabama-located defined?

The business must be headquartered or the business’s founders must live in the state of Alabama.

Who is SEDI?

More than half of Alabama geographically qualifies as SEDI. SEDI-owned and controlled businesses are at least 51% controlled and owned by SEDI individuals who meet one or more definitions from the criteria. See the list above for the full requirements.