Ines Polonius is CEO of Communities Unlimited, Inc., a CDFI and not-for-profit organization driving community economic development through the building of entrepreneurial ecosystems, direct assistance and capital to micro-enterprises, small businesses and infrastructure improvements in persistently poor rural places across Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
In 1998, Ines founded alt.Consulting and became its Executive Director in 2003. alt.Consulting was dedicated to starting, growing, transitioning and turning around micro-enterprises and small businesses in the Arkansas Delta until a successful merger with Community Resource Group in 2014 formed Communities Unlimited, Inc.
In 2011, Ines and her team launched Delta BioEnergy, a wealth creation value chain that introduced a winter energy crop in the Arkansas Delta and built out the infrastructure to generate biofuel from the crop and waste vegetable oil. Ines has personally worked with more than 200 small businesses, conducting organizational and financial audits, facilitating strategic planning sessions and customizing management systems. Previously, she served as a Business Development Consultant at the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development.
Ines earned an MBA and an MA in Economics from Boston University. Before pursuing her graduate work, she worked for three years with rural micro-enterprise development in Chile and the Dominican Republic. She received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.
February 12, 2019
With the Shutdown Looming Again, Lawmakers Should Remember Microbusinesses are Resilient, not Unbreakable
A recent CNBC article detailed how many small businesses that were adversely affected by the shutdown are struggling to move on.