Initiative Launches to Grow Women-Owned Small Businesses

The Tory Burch Foundation (TBF) and Bank of America today announced the launch of Elizabeth Street Capital, an initiative designed to provide early-stage women entrepreneurs in the United States with access to low-cost capital, mentoring support and networking opportunities to grow their businesses, creating communities of women entrepreneurs.

The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative will launch with an investment of $10 million in low-cost capital from Bank of America and additional funds for operating expenses shared by TBF and Bank of America.

The initial launch will support women entrepreneurs in Boston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, but will expand to additional markets over the next two years.

This unique partnership brings together TBF's network of early-stage women entrepreneurs with one of the world's largest financial institutions.

The loans will be administered through nonprofit entrepreneurial loan centers (also known as Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs) that support low-and moderate-income communities.

In the initial markets, participating partners are Accion East (Boston and New York), Self-Help (Charlotte), Nevada Microenterprise Initiative, in partnership with VEDC (Las Vegas), Entrepreneur Works (Philadelphia) and Opportunity Fund (San Francisco).

Bank of America is the largest supporter of CDFIs among major financial institutions.

Tory Burch, founder of TBF, says, "When we started our foundation, we understood that women entrepreneurs need access to capital as well as access to business networks, and by partnering with Bank of America we are thrilled to be providing help to women across the United States. The combination of loans, mentoring support and peer networking expertise opens up new opportunities for women looking to build and grow their businesses."

Elizabeth Street refers to the New York City location of Tory Burch's first boutique, the launching pad for a business that has grown into a global brand with nearly 120 boutiques and a presence in more than 50 countries around the world. The name speaks to the hard work and passion that drive successful entrepreneurial ventures and to the enormous potential of women-owned small businesses.

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