The Wells Fargo Foundation
has donated $368,000 to the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
, the organization announced Wednesday.
WWBIC will use the funds to bolster its operations, which includes adding staff, increasing outreach efforts and improving programming.
“These grant dollars go towards WWBIC to continue to advance our lending and support of micro and small businesses that are diverse or owned by people of color,” said Wendy Baumann, WWBIC president and chief visionary officer.
The grant is part of the foundation’s Diverse Community Capital program, which began in 2015 to empower minority-owned businesses. The funds are also a portion of the foundation’s $175 million in aid for communities impacted by COVID-19.
The program is now deploying its resources across the country to support diverse small businesses disproportionately affected by closures and changes from COVID-19. Since March, the company has accelerated philanthropy to more than 150 nonprofits or community lenders serving small businesses, including WWBIC.
“There’s no single solution to address the needs faced by small business owners during this pandemic, but we can come together and offer options, such as channeling resources to community organizations who can identify, finance and coach businesses in need,” Wells Fargo region bank president Tony Nguyen said in a statement.