BALTIMORE ECONOMIC 
LEADERSHIP LEAGUE


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MISSION: BELL educates, advocates for and funds small, minority, rural and woman-owned businesses in Maryland that have been denied capital. BELL ensures the continued hiring of local workers and the development of stronger, safer, thriving communities. 

Why Join THE BELL COMMUNITY?

BELL is committed to connecting Members to capital, coaching and customers and to our community of Sponsors and Partners who contribute valuable business resources and support. 

Your participation as a Member or Sponsor grows the BELL Small Business Loan Fund that lends to small, woman-owned and minority businesses. Additionally, your support creates training programs that guide the smart growth of local companies. 

BELL serves all of the state of Maryland. 

Learn more about Membership and Sponsorship


What is BELL?

BELL is a non-profit (501c3) organization that is committed to providing business owners the training and support they need to access capital, increase revenue, add jobs and have a positive impact on the Maryland economy. BELL serves the entire Maryland business community, not just Baltimore. 

BELL manages various funds and provides commercial loans to small, rural, woman-owned and minority businesses in the region. 

Why is BELL important? 

BELL provides the training, support and capital that small Maryland companies need to scale. Our programs help entrepreneurs understand credit, learn how to invest in their businesses, choose the right customer, determine pricing and hire the right people at the right time in their growth. 

BELL partners with individuals and businesses who share the perspective that investment in small, rural, woman-owned and minority businesses is important to the local and national economy and helps create stronger, safer, and better communities. 

Members and Sponsors help BELL remove the long-standing barriers to business capital so small companies can grow revenue and add jobs. 

Membership Benefits

Members enjoy: 

  • Free networking and training opportunities
  • Free promotion of initiatives 
  • Connections to funding, customers, decision-makers, resources and other Members 
  • Discounts on products and services offered by Members and Sponsors
  • Discounts on BELL Signature Events 

CLICK HERE TO JOIN BELL


JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

Want invitations to business events and information on funding opportunities? Enter your email below: 


APPLY FOR A COMMERCIAL LOAN FROM THE BELL SMALL BUSINESS LOAN FUND

BELL funds are available to lend to small, rural, minority and woman-owned businesses. Want to add to the fund?
 Donate. Sponsor. Join


If you have been rejected for commercial loans in the past due to lack of collateral, low credit scores or lack of financial documentation, our BELL Small Business Loan program is for you.

Commercial Loans help with: 

  • Purchasing Company Vehicles
  • Purchasing Equipment and Products
  • Expanding Your Staff and Location 
  • Making Monthly Payments while you wait on your customers to pay you
  • Covering Payroll while you wait on your customers to pay you
  • Making Purchases and Paying Vendors while you wait on your customers to pay you

Please note, BELL Loans are business loans to businesses to be used for business purposes. 

CLICK HERE TO APPLY


Capital. CONNECTIONS. CUSTOMERS. COACHING. COMMUNITY. 


AWARD-WINNING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

We partner with our Founder's management consulting firm, WHC to provide Maryland Business Owners with the best entrepreneurship training program in the region. Our curriculum was written by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and is taught by entrepreneurs. There is no theory presented. We only provide practical information and solutions to common growth and access to capital challenges. 

BELL Members can access the curriculum at no charge through our scheduled cohorts or through self-paced learning via our video library of classes. 

WHC has been contracted to deliver this award-winning curriculum for Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Morgan State University, Anne Arundel County and Charles County. 

Parts of this curriculum have been taught at various times in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maryland Governor's Office, Maryland Small Business Development Center, the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations across the region. 

As a fundraising initiative, BELL will partner with interested organizations to provide cohorts and training for target populations. If you are interested in contracting BELL or WHC to lead your technical assistance initiative, please contact Founder Will Holmes at grow@whcusa.com. 

Topic: Preparing Your Business to Access Capital

Founder Will Holmes explains the key aspects of how to prepare to engage a lender or investor for funding. Will explains these concepts in simple terms so that any entrepreneur on any level  can understand and apply this practical information. 

The topics covered are: Understanding Your Value Proposition; Knowing Your Customer and Industry; Growth Strategy; Repayment of the Loan; Building a Relationship with Funders; and Essential Documentation. 

To view more videos, click here to join BELL


Events


NEWS 

Check out the latest news, resources, events and opportunities for Members and for the business community: 


Featured SPONSOR: 


Thank you Dr. Johnetta Thurston of JDA Management and Consulting for being a Gold Sponsor! www.getjda.com

BELL Executive Director, Rennard Brown

Our Executive Director Rennard Brown brings over 25 years of operations leadership, program and project management, and consulting in the financial services industry to BELL. His plan for streamlined, efficient and agile operations will keep costs low - helping to keep interest rates even lower for our borrowers. Brown is passionate about helping entrepreneurs connect to the resources they need to create jobs and build a greater Maryland economy.

Click here to learn more about Rennard Brown.  


BELL Founder, Will Holmes

Our Founder Will Holmes is Chairman Emeritus of the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce and Founder of the award-winning management & technology consulting firm, WHC. Holmes has a vision for serving under-resourced small businesses in our region, connecting them to affordable loans and hosting fun and informative business events that help connect and grow our local entrepreneur ecosystem. 

Click here to learn more about Will Holmes.  


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