WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Applications are now being accepted for the second annual Empowerment Awards, which are designed to recognize and support projects that increase access to responsible banking services in underserved communities. The awards, sponsored by Promontory Financial Group, help strengthen consumer- and community-oriented financial innovations that meet the needs of their communities.
Projects are evaluated in two categories, based on their effectiveness, innovation, impact, and sustainability, as well as for leadership and governance. The Community Development Banking category is aimed at banks registered as community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and the Access category is aimed at CDFIs, nonprofit organizations, and small to midsize entrepreneurs. Each winner will receive a financial award of $100,000 and pro bono consultations with Promontory.
Winners of the inaugural Empowerment Awards were announced in November 2014. BankPlus, an independent community bank in Mississippi, won in the Community Development Banking category for its CreditPlus program, a small-dollar, short-term loan alternative to payday lending. City First Enterprises, a nonprofit incubator of large-scale social-finance solutions, won in the Access category for an online platform for community-oriented investment.
“The Empowerment Awards are designed to encourage promising initiatives with the power to improve the financial well-being of underserved communities,” said Gene Ludwig, founder and chief executive officer of Promontory Financial Group. “With more than one in four American households either unbanked or under-banked, there is much work to be done. We are honored to support companies all over the country that are addressing these critical issues.”
Information about the Empowerment Awards, including the application materials, is available online at empowerment.promontory.com. Applications for this year’s awards are due by June 12, 2015.
Promontory Financial Group, based in Washington, D.C., specializes in helping companies and governments around the world manage complex risks and meet their greatest regulatory challenges. Promontory’s work aims to make its clients stronger and the financial system safer. Promontory has offices in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Denver, and affiliate offices in Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Dublin, Istanbul, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto. Eugene A. Ludwig, who served as U.S. comptroller of the currency under President Bill Clinton, founded Promontory in 2001.