HTC and Covenant First Step Fund apply Nobel prize winning microlending model to assist underserved community

November 28, 2006

, TX - Houston Technology Center (HTC), a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and Greater Houston’s business accelerator, announces its support of Covenant First Step Fund (CFSF), a non-profit microlending program developed to assist underserved individuals in Houston become successful entrepreneurs. HTC is hosting the bi-monthly meetings of CFSF at its midtown facility and is working jointly with CFSF to support Houston’s underserved to launch and grow new business ventures.  

CFSF’s program is based on the Microfinance model developed by Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The program provides individuals with no or poor credit access to capital, consistent with their entrepreneurial abilities and desire to establish new and positive credit behavior, via low-interest loans of increasing value. CFSF members must participate in a series of information and training sessions and attend regular bi-monthly meetings, organized into support groups. Peer groups provide moral and business support as well as pressure on members to comply with the program terms.

The Nobel prize granted to the Grameen Bank and Yunus, its founder, attests to the proven success of the microfinance model as a powerful, poverty fighting tool that benefits the community at large by encouraging job creation, knowledge sharing and minority groups participation. “Since its inception in 2001, the CFSF in Houston has helped over 100 individuals launch and advance small businesses using our combination or loans, mentoring and support groups” said Steven Rosencranz, Chairman of CFSF who, along with Read Boles, has been leading the Houston group with help from additional Houston business leaders and entrepreneurs.

"Covenant First Step Fund provides support to the low-income community and encourages entrepreneurship within a group that must overcome greater challenges to succeed in launching and growing a business. This support aligns with HTC’s commitment to assist the underserved in the Greater Houston area and promote technology entrepreneurship and better business practices. We are happy to offer CFSF help in their quest for the benefit of the City of Houston and our community” said Paul Frison, President and CEO of Houston Technology Center.

Houston Technology Center is the largest technology business incubator in Texas. HTC accelerates the commercialization of emerging technology companies by providing in-depth business guidance, access to capital and service providers, and entrepreneurial education. In addition, HTC promotes Houston as a leading technology city and educates entrepreneurs and the underserved communities of Houston. In seven years of operation, HTC has provided feedback to well over 1,000 companies and coached more than 200 companies, helping them raise in excess of $500 million and create over 3,000 jobs. 

HTC also serves as the Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund which assists small to mid-size technology firms to launch sooner, expedite the commercialization of new life-changing inventions and improve research at Texas universities.


For more information on Houston Technology Center visit

For more information on Covenant First Step Fund visit or contact Steven Rosencranz, (713) 248-7602,



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Author: Hilla Barzilai - Abileah
Phone: (713) 658-1750
Category: htc | Sub Category: news