NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, stated: "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."
Thomas K. Montag, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Bank of America, said: "Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation recognize a huge opportunity to support women-owned businesses. Research has shown that women entrepreneurs need better access to capital and more opportunities to build strategic business relationships. The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative will help address these issues and provide loans and mentoring to women ready to take their businesses to the next level."
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.
Andrew Plepler, Corporate Social Responsibility Executive, Bank of America said: "Tory and team recognize that supporting women-owned businesses, both financially and by sharing expertise, can have a dramatic impact on the local economies, paving the way for future generations. This program has the potential to be a real catalyst for advancing women's economic empowerment."
The program will launch with a TBF signature event this evening at the Bank of America Tower in New York City.
About the Tory Burch Foundation
The Tory Burch Foundation launched in 2009 to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families. The foundation provides small business loans, mentorship and entrepreneurial education, enabling women to start and grow their own businesses. For more information, visit www.toryburchfoundation.org.
About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 50 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,100 retail banking offices and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 14 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
SOURCE Tory Burch Foundation