Community Needs : Economic Development, Education, Employment Skills
This grant established a micro-loan fund to help low-income women start or expand their own businesses. The fund was structured as a rolling trust so as borrowers repay, the money is re-loaned allowing the fund to continue in perpetuity. By empowering women to help themselves, the program focuses on a root problem of poverty - economic inequality. Micro-loans have funded more than 230 local businesses including restaurants, specialty food stores, hair and nail salons, florists and a veterinarian. The program helped more women in the community make the transition from low-paying jobs or welfare into their own businesses.