The Times 

Micro-Business Assistance Program hits milestone of $200,000 in grants awarded to 50 entrepreneurs


December 24, 2020

WALLA WALLA— On Nov. 19, a cohort of 15 participants graduated from Mercy Corps Northwest’s Micro-Business Assistance (MBA) Program, which offers support for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a small business.

The MBA program has now served 50 entrepreneurs in Walla Walla and has disbursed a total of $200,000 in grants over the last two years. The program is available to business owners and entrepreneurs in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties and the City of Milton Freewater. It provides grants, loans, and education to new and existing businesses that may not qualify for traditional bank financing. The program incentivizes participants to save $500 while completing educational requirements. This is matched with a $4,000 grant once all program requirements are met. The program is unique as one of the only in the region to support a clientele of 78% Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs.

Melva Solís is a program participant and the owner of Super Clean Professional Services, a house-cleaning company servicing the Walla Walla area. The MBA program was her key to starting a small business.

“I believe that the support I have received from Mercy Corps has been a great stepping stone, which personally has allowed me to see beyond my previous limits and realize that it’s possible to achieve your dreams,” she shares.

Solís chose to start her own business to increase her independence and fuel a new personal and financial growth path. She is part of the most recent group of 15 graduates who completed the program in November.

The initiative is supported by a Community Development Block Grant provided by the city of Walla Walla to Mercy Corps Northwest and backed by ten partnering financial and educational institutions.

Applications for the next round of entrepreneurs opens on Jan. 1, 2021. You can view more information on the application and eligibility requirements here.

To receive information on Walla Walla’s Micro-Business Assistance Program, please contact Cinthya Montero at or visit


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