Wells Fargo has awarded a $500,000 grant to Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., as part of its national effort to support minority-owned small businesses.
The grant will focus on advancing infrastructure for WWBIC’s loan and lending operations, and enhancing customer service that will impact Hispanic and veteran entrepreneurs and business owners.
WWBIC, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), works to expand economic opportunity for women, people of color and low-income individuals by offering microlending and business training.
WWBIC is in “growth mode,” with the organization having served more than 5,000 clients and lent to more than 130 businesses in 2018, said Wendy Baumann, president and chief visionary officer of WWBIC.
“This significant investment is extremely helpful,” Baumann said. “The funds will allow us to build our infrastructure – further and faster is ideal as we continue to serve the many diverse business owners in need of financial support.”
Nationally, Wells Fargo recently announced it is awarding $7.9 million in grants through its Diverse Community Capital program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses through Community Development Financial Institutions.
“WWBIC is deeply embedded in Wisconsin communities and has the skill to deliver personalized coaching and services to under-served small business owners,” said Tony Nguyen, Wells Fargo region bank president. “Together we can help more diverse entrepreneurs reach their full potential and stimulate job creation in the process. We’ve learned that working with CDFIs is an effective way to try new things, help remove barriers and put more small businesses on a path to financial success.”