About Us

Prairie Rose Development is a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation that was founded in Colorado in late 2020. Our mission is to stimulate the creation, prosperity, and economic welfare of diverse small businesses creating sustainable, living-wage jobs within their communities.

New small businesses create ALL the net new jobs in the U.S. each year although businesses owned by women, minorities, immigrants, millennials, veterans and others, along with small businesses located in rural communities, are generally excluded from access to affordable and flexible funding to start their businesses.

What limited funding that is available, evaporates during and after a recession, which is when it is most needed to help businesses create meaningful, sustainable living wage jobs.

Prairie Rose Development seeks to redress this inequity by:

  1. Offering and facilitating 0% interest rate and no-fee crowd-sourced small business Kiva loans up to $15,000 to new and emerging small businesses located anywhere within the State of Colorado; 
  2. Character-based small business loans (no minimum credit score or collateral requirement) from $5,000 up to $50,000 to MSU Denver affiliated business owners in partnership with Alpine Bank; and,
  3. A character-based loan program offering loans to emerging Colorado-based small businesses in the range of $15,000 to $150,000, combined with mentorship support. [COMING SOON!!!]

Why Prairie Rose?

The Prairie Rose, also called climbing rose, is a member of the Rosaceae (Rose) family. Roses typically have leaves with 3 to 9 leaflets, stems with thorns, and upright or arching stems (canes). Flowers have a base petal number of five, with many cultivated roses showing a hundred or more petals. The stems of Prairie Roses are bright green to reddish green and clambering. They use adjacent vegetation and fences for support and can reach more than 13 feet long. Flowers are about 2.5 to 3 inches across, with five light pink petals and a yellow center. Prickles are few and far apart on the stem.

As the name suggests, Prairie Roses are found in and at the edge of prairies, woodlands, fencerows and thickets, from New York and New Hampshire south to Florida, west to Texas, and north through Colorado to Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

We chose the name Prairie Rose for our nonprofit lending organization because small business owners are often hidden in plain sight, just like Prairie Roses. Politicians like to pay lip service to the small business sector when it suits a purpose but they primarily work to help their big business friends because big businesses are more visible (and employe legions of lobbyists to ensure that they always are). Prairie Roses are uniquely found on the outskirts of primary populations yet remain integral to the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Prairie Roses, just like small business owners, are creative, supportive, community-based and just not quite as prickly as the owners of big businesses often are.

Staff
  • Mike O’Donnell is the founder and executive director of Prairie Rose Development Corp. An economist by training, he has more than 30 years of experience in entrepreneurial education, support, consulting and the small business lending industry, facilitating thousands of U.S. Small Business Administration and micro loans over his career.
  • Madison Goering (she/her/hers) is the Kiva Capital Access Manager for the Denver-Metro area. Previously Madison’s work has been in diverse community development efforts, from supporting families experiencing homelessness to running a referral hotline for survivors of human trafficking. Madison grew up in Colorado and is thrilled to be connecting with local entrepreneurs after living and working in Bolivia for 2 years. In her free time she loves to go trail running, make dinner with friends and practice West Coast Swing dancing.
  • Dani Tafolla is an Anthropologist from Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Born of Pueblo and Mexican descent, she was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and is deeply connected to her Mexican and Indigenous heritage. She graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Cultural Anthropology, concentrated in Indigenous culture. Working for nonprofits most of her career, she is deeply excited to join Prairie Rose Development as the Kiva Capital Access Manager for Colorado Springs. Dani specializes in cross-cultural communication and Latino/Indigenous culture. She is excited to use her skills to empower small businesses in their growth and give back to the community she belongs to.
  • Alessandra (Aley) Desiderio is the Chief Development Executive and has ten years experience in nonprofit leadership and fundraising, as well as ten years of partnerships and sales experience. Charged with creating and implementing Prairie Rose Development goals and strategies for all programs and campaigns, the Chief Development Executive is focused on helping grow Prairie Rose and Kiva in Colorado.
Board
  • Katherine Homes is an artist, musician, songwriter, entrepreneur founder/CEO of Katherine Homes a business she launched at a festival in Colorado by selling hats that bring attention to threatened species and wild lands.
  • Bonnie Watson is the Managing Director of the Telluride Venture Network. Watson manages the TVN’s mentor network, bootcamps, regional loan fund and venture fund and works directly with startup companies and small businesses in the region. As a Colorado native who grew up in Evergreen, Colorado, Watson graduated from Colorado Mesa University with her B.A. in Finance and later received her Master’s degree in Finance from Colorado State University. Previously, Watson worked in the traditional financing industry as a portfolio lender and taught finance at Colorado Mesa University. Having lived on the Western Slope for the past 10 years and with her strong finance background, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to helping small businesses flourish. They are also co-owners of Alt Space Coworking (a regional co-working space brand) with locations in Telluride, Ridgeway, Montrose and Grand Junction. When not working, Watson can be found on the slopes of Colorado hiking, skiing, mountain biking or camping with her husband Brian and their pup Oakley.
  • Delaney Keating, is a seasoned creative, entrepreneur, and change agent. She successfully owned, operated, and exited her first company and has since been dedicated to fostering ingrained cultural values for art and innovation. As the recently former Executive Director of Startup Colorado, she continues to support entrepreneurs and the potential of ideas, the people behind them, and the places they create, all from her new business role based in her home town of Gunnison, Colorado. 
  • Rod Bolls, is the founder and CEO of Boxwell. Rod studied business and international trade, taught English in China, started a business while in grad school, and worked in the storage industry for eight years before founding Boxwell in 2015. Rod steers his company with the same honesty and integrity that he lives by — prioritizing a balance between working hard and playing hard. He is driven by the idea that the best work is created out of diligence, openness and innovation.