Bank of America is doubling its investment in the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, committing $100 million in capital to connect women small business owners to affordable loans. Since the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program launched five years ago, more than 2,500 women entrepreneurs have received $46 million in loans through community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to help them grow and refine their businesses.
“We recognize that women entrepreneurs help fuel economic growth in communities across the U.S., and that access to capital remains a key challenge,” said Andrew Plepler, global head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Bank of America. “Partnering with the Tory Burch Foundation to advance women in small business is one way we invest in the future of local economies.”
Launched in 2014, the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program is a partnership between Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation that aims to increase the number and size of businesses owned and led by women. Only 1 in 23 loan dollars is distributed to women-owned businesses in the United States. The program connects women business owners to affordable loans that are administered through local CDFIs, which provide capital and financial services to underserved markets and populations, including women entrepreneurs. Bank of America is the largest investor in CDFIs, with more than $1.5 billion in investments to 255 CDFI partners across the U.S.
“We know women pay back loans at higher rates than men, but because of cultural bias, they are denied critical capital to grow their businesses,” says Tory Burch, founder of the Tory Burch Foundation. “Over the past five years, the Capital Program has allowed us to reach women businesses owners at scale, and we’re looking forward to doubling that investment."
Through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, business owners such as Mia Parton, who founded Aeparmia Engineering, a minority woman- and LGBTQ-owned professional civil engineering firm, are able to grow strategically. Parton leveraged the funds provided through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program for working capital to design and manage infrastructure projects, such as water distribution and wastewater collection systems that help advance and protect communities.
The program operates in 17 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. CDFIs participating in the capital program offer a 2 percent interest rate reduction on loans for qualifying borrowers. CDFI partners work with women representing a range of industries, including accounting, hospitality, home improvement, fashion, and child care.
Through partnerships like the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, Bank of America has helped more than 11,000 women entrepreneurs through mentoring, training and access to capital. The company has a long-standing history of supporting women within the company, making the financial lives of women clients and customers better and advancing economic empowerment of women in communities around the world. The bank’s investments to advance women entrepreneurs are part of its approach to responsible growth and an example of how the company deploys capital to advance economic and social progress.
The Tory Burch Foundation advances women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the United States by providing access to capital, education and digital resources: The Fellows Program has provided over $600,000 in grants to help women grow their businesses; the Tory Burch Capital Program, powered by Bank of America has distributed more than $46 million in loans to more than 2,500 women entrepreneurs; more than 200 women have completed an in-depth business education course through the Tory Burch Foundation cohort of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses Education Program; and the Foundation’s website, www.ToryBurchFoundation.org, is a go-to destination for women entrepreneurs. The Foundation’s global initiative #EmbraceAmbition launched in March 2017, encouraging women everywhere to own their power, their drive and their dreams. Each month, the Foundation provides online tools and digital education to more than 270,000 women, and more than 10,000 women have created their business plans on ToryBurchFoundation.org.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
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Vanessa Cook, Bank of America
Frances Pennington, SVP Global PR & Brand Communications, Tory Burch