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Microfinance Nonprofit Grameen America Opens New Branch in Phoenix With Catalytic Support From Wells Fargo

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 08:30 AM

Wells Fargo

A catalytic multi-million grant from longtime partner Wells Fargo is supporting Grameen America's first-time presence in Phoenix to bring access to capital to women entrepreneurs

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / May 22, 2024 / Grameen America, the fastest-growing nonprofit microfinance organization in the United States, announced the opening of its new branch location in Phoenix, Arizona with major philanthropic support from the Wells Fargo Foundation. To expand access to affordable capital for women entrepreneurs, Wells Fargo made a $3.25 million grant over three years to help Grameen America expand its operations to Phoenix and advance the organization's technology and digital platforms.

Grameen America provides low-income women entrepreneurs with affordable loan capital, financial education, asset- and credit-building, and peer support. With the funding from Wells Fargo, Grameen America estimates the new branch will disburse nearly $14 million in capital to over 2,000 women business owners by the end of 2026. Since launch, the Phoenix branch has already disbursed over $327,000 in loan capital through microloans supporting over 130 women entrepreneurs. Members in the Grameen America program with first time loans of up to $2,500 complete their repayment cycles at an impressive 99% repayment rate and are eligible to receive larger loans every six months to grow their businesses.

According to a new Wells Fargo report, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area offers a growth environment for women-owned businesses with a 13.7% firm growth rate, demonstrating the area's high entrepreneurial culture. The number of women-owned businesses between 2019 and 2023 increased at nearly double the rate of those owned by men; and from 2022 to 2023, the rate of growth increased to 4.5 times. The report also shows that closing the gap in average revenues for women of color has the potential to generate $667 billion in additional revenue, while closing the gap in average revenues between women- and men-owned businesses has the potential of generating $7.9 trillion in additional revenue to the nation's economy.

"For over a decade, Wells Fargo has been an invaluable partner committed to supporting women small business owners holistically with access to capital, credit establishment, savings, and digital tools," said Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America. "The investment from Wells Fargo is instrumental in Grameen America's capacity to scale its program to new geographies like Phoenix, where low-income women entrepreneurs are growing, but often experience barriers to financial mobility. We are thrilled to bring our program to this new community, where we know our members will have the opportunity pursue their business dreams, support their families, create jobs in the community, and drive economic growth."

"Our goal was to create transformative change for the Phoenix small business community by expanding Grameen's reach," said Darlene Goins, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. "Small business owners are essential to creating local jobs and thriving communities. This grant is part of our overall focus on supporting small business growth nationwide and reaching a wide variety of entrepreneurs who need capital to grow, and ultimately, strengthening the small business sector for the long term."

The $3.25 million grant is also supporting the roll out of Grameen America's member mobile app across the country and future product enhancements. The initiative launched in April 2023 to advance the organization's technology foundations and enhance the member experience with a centralized platform to manage loan and membership information. The mobile app also automates operational responsibilities, allowing Grameen America to reallocate time for member outreach and relationship-building, the core of the organization's high-touch model. In addition, the app will provide data-driven insights on program impact and member satisfaction.


About Grameen America

Grameen America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microfinance organization dedicated to helping underserved women build small businesses to create better lives for their families. The organization offers access to affordable loan capital, financial education, asset- and credit-building, and peer support to transform communities and advance financial mobility in the United States. Since opening in January 2008, Grameen America has invested $4.1 billion in nearly 195,000 low-income women entrepreneurs. Opening initially in Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded to 27 cities in Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Camden, NJ, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Connecticut, Dallas, TX, Fresno, CA, Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Los Angeles, CA, Memphis, TN, Miami, FL, Newark, NJ, New York, NY, Omaha, NE, Oakland, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Riverside, CA, San Antonio, TX, San Bernardino, CA, San Jose, CA, Trenton, NJ and Union City, NJ.

Mayor Gallego joins Grameen America and Wells Fargo to celebrate the opening of Grameen America's branch in Phoenix.

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Contact Info:
Spokesperson: Wells Fargo
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE: Wells Fargo

Environmental, Social and Governance
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