NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop, the New York City Economic Development Corporation,
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Squarespace and Fundation announced a public-private partnership to provide approximately $5 million to New York City’s women entrepreneurs. The new program, WE Fund Credit, will provide New York City women-owned businesses with lines of credit up to $100,000 at favorable interest rates, including those businesses with limited credit history, and a path to improve their credit scores.
This investment is accompanied by an over $1 million loan loss reserve fund provided by Squarespace, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Credit solutions provider Fundation is providing the platform through which women entrepreneurs can access and manage the lines of credit. The Goldman Sachs Foundation plans to provide a $300,000 grant to support technical assistance and outreach for the program.
“Women entrepreneurs face gendered barriers to financing that prevent them from starting and growing businesses that support our local economy and uplift our communities,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “With WE Fund Credit, we’re breaking down these barriers by offering affordable credit options to women entrepreneurs across the five boroughs.”
“Despite small businesses serving as a hub for community vitality, economic growth, and quality job creation in neighborhoods across New York, many women entrepreneurs still have difficulty accessing the funding they need to grow those businesses,” said Margaret Anadu, Managing Director and Head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. “We are proud that through a commitment from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, we are helping local women entrepreneurs access the capital they need so that they, and our communities, can succeed. We are excited to play a part in addressing this long-standing challenge.”
“No one should be denied the chance to further their success in business due to their gender,” said Anna Stallings, Senior Marketing Manager at Squarespace. “Our mission at Squarespace is to empower anyone with a creative idea to succeed. WE Fund Credit is leveling the playing field for women-identifying entrepreneurs to build businesses that shape our local communities, provide jobs, and contribute to our hometown economy.”
WE Fund Credit will facilitate the issuance of lines of credit with an annual percentage rate (APR) of approximately 12 percent, including fees, subject to material changes in the market. In addition to providing credit support through the loan loss reserve, the City will help women entrepreneurs through the loan application process.
Eligible applicants must be in business for a minimum of one year, have at least $50,000 in annual revenue, and have FICO scores of at least 620. Interested women entrepreneurs can visit we.nyc to learn more and apply.
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According to the City’s Unlocking the Power of Women Entrepreneurs in New York City report, 70 percent of women entrepreneurs cite access to capital as a major challenge when starting and growing their companies. Many entrepreneurs rely on personal credit cards and payday lenders, which lend at interest rates that are more than 30 percent.
“Having good credit is key to running a successful business, and for many women who run or are hoping to start a business, it can be difficult to find affordable lines of credit, said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Through the WE Fund Credit program, we can assist these entrepreneurial women with the financial help they need and create a thriving small business culture in Brooklyn and beyond.”
“As chair of the City Council’s Committee on Women & Gender Equity, I am delighted at the news that WE Fund Credit will connect lines of credit to women entrepreneurs, including those with limited credit history, said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “Through the innovative WE NYC partnership, women across our city have a growing number of tools to turn their dreams into reality and contribute to our local economy. I want to thank NYC Small Business Services and the Mayor’s Office for all their efforts to advance women’s financial and social empowerment.”
“Despite the incredible growth, female entrepreneurs are still far from reaching gender parity,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “Access to capital is a major issue which can present a significant barrier as female entrepreneurs continue to play catch-up to their male counterparts. I applaud Small Business Services for responding to the needs of women-owned businesses by supporting the WE Fund Credit program.”
“Establishing credit is a challenge that cuts across all socioeconomic lines, but disproportionately affects women and minorities. Through WE NYC, we are removing barriers to level the playing field for small business owners, said Council Member Farah N. Louis. “WE Fund Credit is a great addition that will serve as a lifeline for thousands of women entrepreneurs who are fueling the economic growth of communities throughout New York City.”
WE NYC, launched by the NYC Department of Small Business Services in 2015, delivers tailored, research-based programs for women entrepreneurs to better connect them to the resources, education, and community they need to flourish. WE NYC services are free and open to all women throughout the five boroughs. Since its launch, WE NYC has served over 8,500 women entrepreneurs in NYC. For more information, visit we.nyc.
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. To date, 10,000 Small Businesses has served over 8,600 small businesses across the United States. The program has reached businesses from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C, and has resulted in immediate and sustained business growth for the alumni of the program. For more information, visit https://10ksbapply.com/.
Squarespace empowers millions of dreamers, makers, and doers by providing them with the tools they need to bring their creative ideas to life. On Squarespace’s dynamic all-in-one platform, customers can claim a domain, build a website, sell online, and market a brand. Our suite of products combines cutting-edge design and world-class engineering, making it easier than ever to establish and own your online presence. Founded in 2003, Squarespace’s team of more than 1000 is headquartered in downtown NYC, with offices in Dublin and Portland. For more information, visit https://www.squarespace.com/.
Fundation Group LLC is a credit solutions provider focused on the small business market nationally. Fundation is a leader in providing technology and application processing services to support more than 25 super regional, regional and community banks. Fundation’s solutions enable its financial services clients to develop a digital lending capability, provide great customer experience, drive cost efficiency into their small business lending program, and maximize the number of customers they can serve. Fundation’s services range from simple referral partnerships to customized, integrated private labeled lending programs. The company also partners with a wide array of organizations that serve the small business market in various capacities to deliver credit products to the business community nationwide. For more information, please visit https://fundation.com/.
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, visit nyc.gov/sbs, call 311.