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WWBIC receives $1M Federal grant for expanding loans to lower-income entrepreneurs

WWBIC (The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation) received recently that the organization has been awarded $1 million from the federal CDFI Fund.

The award will allow the nonprofit serve more people with business and micro loan financial products and business assistance services. The growth ability will make an impact in Milwaukee, especially in lower-income urban and rural areas, as envisioned in WWBIC’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.

“This award solidly confirms work WWBIC is doing to advance entrepreneurship for the most disadvantaged citizens of Milwaukee and Wisconsin,” said Wendy Baumann, WWBIC president and chief visionary operator. “We will continue to target women, racial and ethnic minorities, and low-income people as they start, expand and strengthen businesses that provide important services and employment throughout the state.”

A Financial Assistance award will provide equity that will help WWBIC leverage additional capital from investors to meet the capital need and demand of our target markets – women, people of color, and individuals of lower wealth and incomes.

Wisconsin CDFIs claimed seven awards totaling $3.725 million of the total $187 million awarded nationally. WWBIC’s award at $1 million was Wisconsin’s largest, and the organization will use the funds over the three-year award period.

The CDFI Fund has funded WWBIC continuously since 1998. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) share a common goal of expanding economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for residents and businesses.

Since 1987, WWBIC has been a leading economic development corporation with the primary focus on women, people of color and low-income individuals, providing direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capability.

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Lee Matz

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