Since inception in July 2005, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon has supported businesses owners in a diversity in trades and backgrounds. Originally known as the MicroEnterprise Neighborhood Development (MEND) program, MEND was a program of the Black United Fund of Oregon. In April 2008, MEND changed its name to MESO and became a program of Pedagogy Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit. In 2001, MESO applied for 501(c)(3) status and has been its own non-profit ever since. MESO continues to maintain its original mission while adding new resources to meet the changing needs of entrepreneurs and the marketplace.
In 2005, MESO formed as a grassroots initiative under the umbrella of The Black United Fund of Oregon through funding from the City of Portland. Within one year, MESO became its own nonprofit and increased capacity through lending via SBA funds, credit building, business coaching, and strategic supports for entrepreneurs. In 2010, we strengthened our loan program through partnership with United Fund Advisors/Portland Family of Funds and increased loan loss reserves. By 2011, The City of Beaverton and Columbia County had requested we duplicate our model in their regions. In 2012, we secured funds from Meyer Memorial Trust and The Collins Foundation to serve all of Washington and Columbia Counties with multi-year funds. In 2014, we became a CDFI, and, going forward, we continue to strategically build culturally specific and responsive services for underserved populations.