We have often talked about the economic strength of the Latino community — especially Latinas. We are not only one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups but also the ones who have jump-started the nation’s economy before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, one of the biggest obstacles for entrepreneurs and business owners is access to resources and start-up capital.
This reality is so evident that big names like Jennifer Lopez have stepped up to the plate to address it.
The singer announced that she has joined forces with microfinance organization Grameen America to give Latina entrepreneurs the capital boost they need, adding up to $14 billion in capital.
As reported by Forbes, Jennifer Lopez announced Thursday that, as a national ambassador for Grameen, she will help mentor the organization’s network of more than 150,000 women-led small businesses in Latino communities across the country.
Together with Grameen, a nonprofit that provides access to capital, credit building, and financial education, Lopez will reinvigorate her philanthropic project, Limitless Labs, to provide 600,000 Latina entrepreneurs with $14 billion in loan capital and 6 million hours of financial education by 2030.
By joining Grameen’s microloan program, Jennifer Lopez will “motivate, promote, and inspire” Latina business owners and educate them on credit and asset-building to help them “understand the pathway to financial independence and literacy,” according to Grameen.
The partnership will build “pathways to employment and leadership opportunities” to harness the “strength” of the Latinx community, Lopez said in a statement.
“Being Latino in this country has always been a matter of pride for me. I am humbled and beyond grateful to partner with Grameen America. We’re building pathways to employment and leadership opportunities. There’s so much strength in this community, and we’re harnessing that. This partnership will create equality, inclusivity, and opportunity for Latina women in business,” she added.
She also told Inc. that her mother did not go to college because she did not have that access, but through this new partnership, Jennifer Lopez hopes to create a more equitable and inclusive landscape.
“Regardless of gender, race, or income, we want to make sure that everyone has that pathway out of poverty and toward financial inclusion in a system that essentially disadvantages communities of color and disadvantages women from the lion’s share of capital access,” Andrea Jung, CEO and president of Grameen, told Inc.
To access the loans, interested parties must become Grameen members. They must complete a week-long financial literacy training course before receiving their loan, but they must still participate in weekly financial education sessions. Grameen members must also repay their loans weekly.
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