WILMINGTON, Del., May 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- To celebrate National Small Business Week, Barclays US Consumer Bank, one of the nation's fastest-growing credit card issuers and online banks, will launch new limited-time offers on their business credit cards, and conduct a variety of activities to support small businesses.
Barclays will host a small business fair and pitch competition on May 8 for entrepreneurs from the Launcher Entrepreneurship Program, which provides aspiring entrepreneurs with training and financial support to help start or scale their small businesses in Delaware. Since 2016, Barclays has provided more than $1 million to support Launcher, which is an initiative of the West End Neighborhood House, a Delaware-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency and reach and maintain their maximum potential.
"The Launcher Entrepreneurship Program at West End Neighborhood House provides the critical support entrepreneurs need to pursue their dreams of becoming small business owners," said Nancy Parnella, director of business cards, Barclays. "Barclays is proud to support our community and provide business owners of all sizes the resources they need to succeed."
The Launcher entrepreneurs attending the fair will showcase their products and services and participate in a pitch competition evaluated by Barclays executives and the Director of Delaware Division of Small Business, Damian DeStefano. The top three entrepreneurs will each receive $1,000 to invest in their business along with additional coaching or mentorship from Barclays colleagues.
Barclays employees who have their own business also will have the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial endeavors at the small business fair. Colleagues who are not participating can still visit the fair to purchase goods and services and learn more about the exhibiting businesses.
"Through the Launcher Entrepreneurship Program and other initiatives, Barclays is providing vital support that helps nurture and grow small businesses in the Delaware area," DeStefano said. "Small businesses are a huge economic driver to our community. They revitalize our neighborhoods and grow our local economy, and these resources are incredibly valuable to help them thrive."
Paul Calistro, executive director of West End Neighborhood House, said through support from Barclays, the Launcher program has trained 197 entrepreneurs and helped create or sustain 199 jobs.
"I have watched this program dramatically improve families' lives and transform local economies," Calistro said. "Whether in Dover, Claymont or Wilmington, these businesses are reinvesting locally to further improve their communities. Angel Cabrera, a Launcher graduate with 60 employees, is a perfect example of the enormous impact just one small business can have on the local economy."
Barclays also is celebrating the hard work and impact its small business owners have on their communities by launching new offers on three of its Barclays Business Cards: Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard®, JetBlue Business Card, and AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®. These higher offers will be available to new applicants beginning May 6 and will run for a limited time.
Barclays supports a wide range of organizations that provide resources to small businesses to encourage entrepreneurship throughout the business and non-profit communities. Some of the organizations Barclays supports include:
- Arrowhead Business Group Youth Entrepreneurship Program – A partnership with Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health (JHCAIH), the Arrowhead Business Group (ABG) Youth Entrepreneurship Program aims to increase financial stability, improve education outcomes and reduce mental health issues through entrepreneurship. Recognizing that physical health and financial health are inextricably linked, this partnership leverages the expertise of both institutions – with Barclays' colleagues helping to develop the curriculum and serving as mentors. (http://caih.jhu.edu/programs/youth-entrepreneurship-education-program-arrowhead-business-group)
- CP Furniture – As part of the Challenge Program, a not-for-profit organization focused on vocational training for at-risk youth, CP Furniture is teaching construction skills to these youth and creating premium furniture that is ultimately sold to homeowners and businesses in the community and beyond. With support from Barclays, participants in the CP Furniture training program acquire valuable skills necessary to become employable. (http://cpfurniture.org/)
- Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union – Stepping Stones is a credit union based in Wilmington, DE, which works to deliver safe and reliable access to money, credit, and other financial services without the high cost associated with typical check cashing services. Stepping Stones operates like a small business by providing loans to members of our local community and booking interest earned as income. In 2016, Barclays' colleagues helped Stepping Stones develop a marketing strategy that would boost their membership. As part of this, Barclays designed an innovative concept called "Bank in a Box", a van fitted with a teller window and equipment that allows Stepping Stones to open accounts and issue ATM cards to new members on the spot. In its first year, the marketing effort was able to increase membership in the Credit Union significantly, therefore providing a much needed service from a local small business to more members of our communities in Wilmington. (http://www.steppingstonescfcu.org)
- Unreasonable Impact – Unreasonable Impact is an innovative multi-year partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable Group to launch the world's first international network of accelerators focused on scaling up entrepreneurial solutions that will help employ thousands worldwide while solving some of our most pressing societal challenges. (https://unreasonableimpact.com/)
For more information, visit www.barclaysus.com.
About Barclays US Consumer Bank
Barclays US Consumer Bank is one of the fastest-growing top-10 credit card issuers and online banks in the United States. The bank creates customized, co-branded credit card programs for some of the country's most successful travel, entertainment, retail and affinity institutions, and offers its own branded credit cards, online savings accounts and CDs, and personal loans. For more information, please visit www.BarclaysUS.com.
Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US. With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 83,500 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit www.barclays.com.