Increases Access to Capital for Women-owned U.S. Small Businesses
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) announced today it has provided $7
million to Grameen America, a leading U.S. non-profit microfinance
organization, to support microloans for entrepreneurs. The $1 million
equity equivalent (EQ2) investment and $6 million senior debt facility,
which act as revolving funds, are estimated to yield over a three-year
period an additional $42 million in loans for start-ups and expansions
to more than 10,000 low-income women entrepreneurs.
“With the right tools and support, women across the country are becoming
engines of economic growth,” said Andrea Jung, president and CEO of
Grameen America. “We are fortunate to have Wells Fargo’s support as we
empower women entrepreneurs through access to capital, savings and
With Wells Fargo’s support, Grameen also will deepen its national
footprint in cities such as New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco
through increased microlending, and will help more women facing poverty
join the financial mainstream.
“Working with Grameen helps us make a bigger impact on small businesses
in their early stages of development, and that is critical to the
success of women entrepreneurs, ” said Sarah Bennett, SVP, Wells Fargo
Community Lending & Investment.
In November of 2015, Wells Fargo launched the Diverse Community Capital
program, which is providing $75 million in grants and lending capital
over a three-year period to Community Development Financial Institutions
serving diverse small businesses.
This commitment from Wells Fargo builds on the Gallup study
of small business owners commissioned by Wells Fargo in 2015 with
the goal of expanding access to financial services for diverse small
businesses. The study found that many diverse small business owners are
likely to be in the startup and early growth stages of their business
and as a result may not qualify for conventional bank loan products.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based
financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852
and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking,
insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance
through 8,700 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and
mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who
conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team
members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United
States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2015
rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to
satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed
financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells
Fargo Blogs and Wells
About Grameen America
Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America
is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microfinance organization dedicated to helping
women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives
for their families. The organization offers microloans, training and
support to transform communities and fight poverty in the United States.
Since opening in January 2008, Grameen America has invested nearly $380
million in more than 64,000 low-income women entrepreneurs. Started in
Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded across New York
City and in Indianapolis, IN, Omaha, NE, Oakland, CA, Charlotte, NC, Los
Angeles, CA, San Jose, CA, Austin, TX, Union City, NJ, San Juan, PR and
Boston, MA. Learn more at www.grameenamerica.org.