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 credit-building.”
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 Fargo Stories.
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.