Billionaire Designer Pins Self-Help Credit Union
Tory Burch, fashion apparel designer and one of Forbes’ most notable billionaires in 2013, is looking to help other women realize their entrepreneurial dreams. And she's involving a credit union in the plan.
Through her nonprofit, the Tory Burch Foundation, Burch has teamed up with several financial institutions to promote Elizabeth Street Capital, an initiative to provide early-stage women entrepreneurs in the United States with access to affordable loans, networking opportunities and mentoring support to encourage and enhance economic growth and development.
For the initiative, Bank of America provided an initial $10 million in affordable loans to community development financial institutions in Boston, Charlotte N.C., Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas and New Jersey, and will expand to additional markets over the next two years.
Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation have invested $2 million in operating grants, which will support CDFIs, according to the foundation.
The program is also working with the $560 million Self-Help Credit Union in Durham, N.C., which will administer the loans in North Carolina, and in the South Carolina counties of York, Chester and Lancaster, the foundation said.
The Tory Burch Foundation provides micro-loans ranging from $500 to $50,000, to female small business owners in need. Currently, more than 200 loans have been administered to women entrepreneurs, according to program officials.
The program is designed primarily for women entrepreneurs with a sustainable business, a satisfactory credit rating and a passion for growth. Eligibility will be determined by local CDFI partners.
Elizabeth Street refers to the location of Tory Burch's first boutique, the launching pad for a business that has grown into a global brand with more than 125 freestanding stores around the world.