$4 million loan program for women entrepreneurs | Manhattan Times

The loan program will focus on women, such as local flower shop owner María. Photo: Grameen America


It’s money for the mujeres.

Small businesses run by female entrepreneurs in Northern Manhattan are about to get a helping hand, thanks to a micro-loan program by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ).

The $4 million loan program was closed on by UMEZ with microfinance group Grameen America.

Borrowers can obtain small starter loans for $1,500 to $2,000. Loan amounts can be increased over time to as much as $10,000 once the initial loan is repaid, said UMEZ President and Chief Executive Officer Blair M. Duncan.

He said the program is aimed at women who run food carts, small-businesses storefronts and home-based businesses uptown.

“I think it’s an exciting opportunity for them to start creating a business,” said Duncan.

The new program is a continuation of a partnership between UMEZ and Grameen that began in 2010 to help Washington Heights and Inwood businesses. As of December 2018, Grameen’s Washington Heights branch had approximately $7.4 million in outstanding loans to over 4,200 borrowers, helping to create or sustain over 4,400 jobs.

The latest $4 million commitment not only provides more capital to storefront and home-based entrepreneurs in those neighborhoods, it will also expand the program to East Harlem for the first time.

Read more: $4 million loan program for women entrepreneurs | Manhattan Times

A launch event for UMEZ’s micro-loan program will be held on Friday, April 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Isabella Geriatric Center, 515 Audubon Avenue, New York, NY 10040.

To RSVP, please visit bit.ly/2YSUvXp.

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