Charter invests $1 Million in WWBIC to lend to small businesses in underserved Wisconsin communities

Charter invests $1 Million in WWBIC to lend to small businesses in underserved Wisconsin communities

Charter invests $1 Million in WWBIC to lend to small businesses in underserved Wisconsin communities

Charter Communications, Inc. today announced the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund (Loan Fund) has invested $1 million in the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp (WWBIC), which will lend to individuals starting or expanding a small business within Charter’s Wisconsin service area. The Loan Fund focuses on making loans through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to small businesses whose goods and services help meet core needs in underserved communities within Charter’s 41-state operating footprint.

“Charter is investing in the communities where our customers and employees live and work, and we are excited to partner with WWBIC to make available vital economic resources to small business owners in Wisconsin,” said Jeff Buller, Charter Vice President overseeing the Loan Fund. “In addition to the capital to fund vital low interest small business loans, Charter is also providing a grant that makes available assistance programs and training for small business owners in Wisconsin.”

WWBIC is a leading innovative statewide economic development corporation that’s been “Putting Dreams to Work” in Wisconsin since 1987. Opening the doors of opportunity by providing access to critical resources such as responsible financial products and quality business and financial education. WWBIC focuses on individuals who face barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources including women, people of color, veterans and low-income individuals.

“WWBIC is thrilled with this new investment through Charter,” said Wendy Baumann, WWBIC President. “Such capital investments allow WWBIC to continue advancing our access to responsible capital and enable us to grow and serve more entrepreneurs and business owners.”

In February, Charter launched the Loan Fund committing to invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021. In June, with the addition of investment partnerships with the National Urban League (NUL) and National Action Network (NAN), Charter’s Loan Fund commitment increased to $13 million. Charter previously announced $1 million investments in Pursuit Community Finance in New York, PeopleFund in Texas, and the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) in Ohio, $3 million in the National Urban League’s Urban Empowerment Fund (UEF), and an additional $3 million in low-interest loans directly to CDFIs in partnership with and as directed by NAN. Over the next year, the Loan Fund expects to invest an additional $3 million across CDFIs in California, Florida, and North Carolina.​

In addition to the loans, each CDFI receives a grant to fund technical assistance programs and professional training for small businesses to help establish sound business practices necessary for long-term growth and continuity. Some of these grants have recently been earmarked to support businesses impacted by COVID-19.

 

About Charter

Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 30 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand. Over an advanced communications network, the company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice.

For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.

 

About WWBIC 

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is on women, people of color, veterans 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. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $77 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $24 million and over 570 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC Welcomes Diversity Driven Accelerator to Milwaukee

WWBIC is excited to announce the official launch of cohort one of the new “Diversity Driven Accelerator.” Modeled after the 2018-2019 WWBIC WEDC Growth Accelerator, which focused on Racine, Kenosha and Walworth County businesses, the Diversity Driven  Accelerator will support and grow businesses owned by minorities, veterans and women in Greater Milwaukee to help create jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.

The Diversity Driven Accelerator will consist of four intensive 11-week business accelerator programs made up of five business teams.  During the course of those 11 weeks, teams will develop their business models by engaging in consumer testing: Integrating input from customers, mentors and advisors.  At the end of the program, teams will present their pitches to qualify for a minimum of $500.00 seed grant. 

“The accelerator program has been very impactful to the thought process I have towards business. I found the content to be engaging, applicable, and relevant to any industry one endeavors to serve in. I think every potential business owner should participate in the accelerator program!” Donisha Nesbitt, Owner of CoveredCare Home Care Agency and Growth Accelerator participant.

The application can be found at bit.ly/wwbicaccelerator. Applications must be received no later than close of business Friday, December 6. The program is open to businesses and/or residents of the Greater Milwaukee area. The accelerator will start the week of January 6, 2020, exact date and time to be determined.

This initiative is made possible through the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses as a way to create local jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.

About WWBIC

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is 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.   Since 1987, WWBIC has lent over $60 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $18 million and nearly 500 active borrowers. 

WWBIC Earns Diverse Community Capital Grant from Wells Fargo to Spark Small Business Growth

WWBIC Earns Diverse Community Capital Grant from Wells Fargo to Spark Small Business Growth

WWBIC Earns Diverse Community Capital Grant from Wells Fargo to Spark Small Business Growth

Funding will help Milwaukee create new jobs and grow across Wisconsin
 
Wells Fargo announced a new boost to diverse small businesses today in Milwaukee with a $500,000 grant to Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC). The funding is a part of the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses as a way to create local jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.
 
The grant will focus on advancing infrastructure for WWBIC’s loan and lending operations and enhancing customer service, directly impacting Hispanic and Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners.
 
“This significant investment is extremely helpful,” said WWBIC’s President and CVO Wendy Baumann. “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.
 
“Last year alone, WWBIC served more than 5,000 clients and lent to more than 130 businesses, so we are in growth mode,” continued Baumann.” In 2018, 87 percent of Greater Milwaukee Area clients served were minority individuals. We are making an impact, and Wells Fargo’s support allows us to excel.”
 
“WWBIC is deeply embedded in Wisconsin communities and has the skill to deliver personalized coaching and services to underserved small business owners,” said WellsFargo Region Bank President Tony Nguyen. “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.”
 
As part of its new philanthropic strategy announced in June, Wells Fargo is focusing on three societal challenges: housing affordability, small business growth and financial health. The Diverse Community Capital program is a critical component to the small business strategy and supports business owners who are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Pacific Islander, Asian-American, women, Veterans, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
 
Launched in 2015, the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program is a collaboration with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). According to OFN’s latest report, DCC awardees have already made loans to more than 16,000 diverse small businesses across 37 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. In addition, grant funding has provided for more than 322,000 hours of development services for over 49,000 diverse small business owners. Wells Fargo is on track to invest more than $175 million in diverse small businesses growth through 2020.
 
About WWBIC
 
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) is a leading, innovative economic development corporation “Putting Dreams to Work.” WWBIC’s primary focus is 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. Since 1987, WWBIC has lent more than $67 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $20 million and more than 500 active borrowers. To learn more about WWBIC visit: www.wwbic.com
 
About Wells Fargo
 
Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,600 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com). With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. With its corporate philanthropy, WellsFargo aims to pave a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities by focusing on housing affordability, small business growth, and financial health, among other local community needs. In 2018, Wells Fargodonated $444 million to nearly 11,000 nonprofits. For 10 consecutive years, Wells Fargo has held the honor of No. 1 in workplace giving by United Way Worldwide. Wells Fargoteam members also actively support communities by donating more than 2 million hours of volunteer time in the last year. News, insights and more information on the company’s overall corporate responsibility are available at Wells Fargo Stories and www.wellsfargo.com/impact.