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Capital Access Programs

Obtaining financing is one of the largest hurdles in starting and growing a business. Crowdfunding is one way to obtain vital start-up capital. We know that crowdfunding isn't easy. We can help.

Business Discussion

Opening The Doors For
Capital Investors

Our Capital Catalyst Initiative is an innovative program that provides small businesses with an initial 0% loan for crowdfunding.

"Through our experience in working with entrepreneurs, we know that the most successful crowdfunding begins when there's momentum. That's why we started this program in an effort to inspire others to act in support of founders." 

                                          - IFEL CEO Jill Johnson

Who is Eligible?

  • Small business owners 

  • Women of color and veterans are encouraged to apply.

  • Annual Revenue:  $0-$250,000

  • Ability to practice for and to make a pitch.

How the Program Works

Small business owner submits an application. Women of color- and veteran-business owners are encouraged to apply.

  1. Selected business owners will be named as program awardee semifinalists.

  2. Small business owners participate in required pitch practice session.

  3. Business owner makes a pitch at an upcoming Entrepreneurs Showcase, an IFEL virtual event.

  4. Selected businesses set up an account through

  5. IFEL makes an initial loan to begin the online crowdfunded campaigns. Award amounts vary and are based on available funding.

  6. Owner repays the funds through the standard method at 0% interest.

  7. Funds are then reused for another entrepreneur

Business Presentation with Headset

Click the music symbol in the lower right below to hear Diedre

Meet Diedre Windsor 

Inspiring Action


Diedre Windsor, a successful entrepreneur, was a featured speaker at IFEL's Women of Color Connecting (WOCCON) Summit in 2021. A year later, while attending the WOCCON Road Show event in Washington, DC. Ms. Windsor decided to take action to support founders by becoming a donor to the Capital Catalyst Initiative.


Windsor, president and CEO of the Windsor Group LLC, a professional services company based in Chevy Chase, Maryland recalls her own challenges while growing a now 60-employee company, discovered an impactful way to help business owners in need of start-up funding through IFEL programming.

A veteran of the U.S. military who cites giving back to the community and supporting other women of color and veterans as her most important goals, Ms. Windsor noted, “It’s true what they say that you almost need to already have money to start a business. I recognize how important it is to get that early capital.”


A successful entrepreneur who recalls her own challenges while growing a now 60-employee company, Ms. Windsor wanted to find a meaningful and impactful way to help business owners in need of start-up funding. 

Our Programs 

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