How To Access Small Business Funding

Black and Diverse Owned Business Series

Thanks to the Sponsor of the Black- and Diverse-Owned Business Series:

Watch A Recap Of The Event:

Listen to a panel of professionals in the finance industry for a virtual discussion about venture capital and traditional funding opportunities for small businesses in Southeast Michigan and a Q&A with the panelists.


Aileen CohenAileen Cohen, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Cohen is the diversity, equity, and inclusion officer at Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Prior to her current role, she was the capital project and portfolio manager for MEDC’s Capital Access team. During the webinar, Cohen will discuss MEDC’s capital access resources.

James DunnJames T. Dunn, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, First Independence Bank

Dunn is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at First Independence Bank. In his role, Dunn specializes in commercial, consumer, and residential lending, loan operations, and municipal depository relationships. He will discuss traditional capital lending during the webinar.

Derron SandersDerron Sanders, Strategic Advisor, Grow Michigan Fund II, Chief Executive Officer, SG Companies

Sanders is the strategic advisor at Grow Michigan Fund II and the chief executive officer at SG Companies. Sanders will discuss the statewide loan fund that will provide growth capital to Michigan minority-owned small businesses in an array of sectors, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation, life sciences, and enabling technologies.

Shannon SmithShannon Smith, Vice President, Siebert Williams Shank Capital Management

Smith is the vice president of Siebert Williams Shank Capital Management. During the webinar, Smith will discuss the Clear Vision Impact Fund and its work providing loans to small businesses that enhance the employment and skill-development opportunities for residents of underserved communities. The goal of the fund is to maximize social impact by helping minority- and women-owned business enterprises access capital.


Paul JonesPaul Jones, Business Support Network Director, Invest Detroit

Jones is the business support network director at Invest Detroit. In his role, he works to advance the partnership’s mission to strengthen an inclusive small business support network of nonprofit business organizations in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and other Wayne County communities.

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