WWBIC to receive more than $1 million from Wells Fargo

Group among 15 chosen from more than 100 applicants

The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation will receive more than $1 million in the form of lending capitol and a grant from Wells Fargo & Company.

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The WWBIC provides loans and businesses management classes primarily to women, low-income residents and minorities. WWBIC was one of 15 organizations around the country out of a pool of more than 100 applicants to receive financial support from Wells Fargo in the first round of its Diverse Community Capital program.

The program will provide a total of $75 million in lending and grant money to different community development financial institutions in six different application rounds over the next three years.

The WWBIC will receive a $400,000 grant to be paid out over two years and $600,000 in lending capitol.

Wendy Baumann, president and CVO of WWBIC, said the grant will be used to hire additional staff to expand the organization’s presence in certain neighborhoods on the city’s northwest side.

“We’re really pleased to be part of this first round, because this was very competitive,” Baumann said. “To bring these resources back to Milwaukee is really huge.”

Baumann said the additional lending capital will raise the group’s total loan pool to more than $1 million.

“Wells Fargo really wanted to invest in CDFI’s like WWBIC that had a track record of investing in diverse businesses, specifically with minority-owned businesses,” Baumann said.

The WWBIC offers loans to entrepreneurs and business owners ranging size from $1,000 to $250,000. The group’s average loan is for $30,000, Baumann said.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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