Advantage Capital Partners Supports Microfinance Efforts

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Investment in Grameen America Spurs Entrepreneurship

Washington, DC, April 12, 2010 - Advantage Capital Partners, a leading venture capital and small business finance firm, today announced the firm’s commitment to funding Grameen America, a microfinance nonprofit organization that provides loans, savings programs, credit establishment and other financial services to entrepreneurs living below the poverty line in the United States. The investment was announced at an evening event held at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business which featured Nobel Laureate and Grameen Bank Founder Muhammad Yunus.

“Advantage Capital has a long history of bringing needed capital to under served and low-income communities across the country,” said Douglas Beekman, Principal at Advantage Capital Partners. “Almost a year ago, we committed $200,000 to support Grameen America’s efforts to establish their presence in Washington, DC. Our involvement is a logical extension of Advantage Capital’s ongoing work in the District, where we provide investment capital to promising businesses and emerging entrepreneurs that are often overlooked by the established financial infrastructure.”

Since its inception, Advantage Capital has built a strong and successful track record of public-private partnerships with state and federal economic development organizations, facilitating the flow of billions of dollars of investment capital into under served communities. Specifically, Advantage Capital is a leading participant in the New Markets Tax Credit and Certified Capital Company programs. Both programs stimulate economic growth in areas that historically have been under served by traditional sources of investment capital.

Grameen America is built upon the success of the Grameen Bank. Founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh, the Grameen Bank is the most widely recognized microfinance company in the world. This success earned both Professor Yunus and the Grameen Bank the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Grameen America’s mission is to alleviate poverty and spur entrepreneurship by providing small loans, savings programs, credit establishment, and financial education to people living below the poverty line in the United States.

As Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Yunus has stated, “Microcredit ignites the tiny economic engines of the rejected underclass of society. Once a large number of tiny engines start working, the stage can be set for bigger things.”

About Advantage Capital Partners
Advantage Capital Partners is a leading small business finance firm focused on providing growth capital and other investments supporting state and local economic development efforts. The firm’s typical forms of investment include early stage, expansion equity, mezzanine financing, senior and subordinated loans and government-guaranteed lending. With offices and partners in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, St. Louis and other U.S. cities, Advantage has raised more than $1.3 billion in institutional capital since 1992 and invested in companies located in geographic areas under served by traditional capital.

About Grameen America
Grameen America is a microfinance nonprofit organization that provides loans, savings programs, credit establishment and other financial services to entrepreneurs living below the poverty line in the United States. The unique peer-lending model creates a social support network and a culture of trust to empower clients to achieve financial independence. Grameen America is built upon the success of the Grameen Bank. Founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh, the Grameen Bank is the most widely recognized microfinance company in the world.