BUFFALO, N.Y., June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Buffalo resident,Sharon Morgan holds many titles in her life – mother, daughter, domestic violence survivor. Today, she is working her way to a new title – small business owner – with the help of a program that provides business education and training for domestic violence survivors in the community.
Morgan, who is striving to succeed in a one-of-a kind handmade jewelry business, currently attends entrepreneurship classes with fifteen other survivors. They are increasing their knowledge in small business ownership at Everywoman Opportunity Center, Inc., a local nonprofit that helps women achieve economic and personal self-sufficiency. This has been made possible through a grant from Verizon, one of five $100,000 grants awarded to five workforce development organizations statewide. The program is called Project Fresh Start. Everywoman is working in tandem with SCORE, the Small Business Development Center, and the Family Justice Center of Erie County, tailoring the program to meet the needs of domestic violence survivors.
"Each of our participants is making the most of this opportunity," said Myrna Young, executive director and CEO of Everywoman Opportunity Center. "They have broken the cycle of violence and have taken charge of their lives."
Successful graduates of the program will develop a business plan for their new venture and be eligible to apply for a Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant of up to $5,000. These grants, provided by Verizon Wireless' HopeLine Program, help women like Morgan turn their business ideas into reality.
To date, 14 grants totaling $57,500 have been awarded across New York State, with more planned in 2012.
The following organizations received first grants:
- Albany – Hudson Valley Community College Workforce Development Institute and Equinox, Inc.
- Buffalo – Everywoman Opportunity Center and the Family Justice Center of Erie County
- New York – Sanctuary for Families, Inc.
- Rochester – Monroe Community College Workforce Development Office and Alternatives for Battered Women
- Syracuse – WISE Women's Business Center and Southside Innovation Center with Vera House
Information on the Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grants is available at http://aboutus.verizonwireless.com/communityservice/YourArea.html
For small business news, free resources, tips and exclusive insights from Verizon, read the Verizon Small Biz Blog (www.verizon.com/smallbusinessblog); follow VZSmallBiz on Twitter (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz)
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Since the national recycling program began in 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 9 million phones nationwide; awarded more than $14 million in cash grants to prevention and awareness programs nationwide; and donated more than 123,000 HopeLine phones with more than 406 million minutes of airtime to domestic violence victims, survivors and organizations. The program has also disposed of more than 1 million phones in an environmentally sound way and refurbished the remaining units. To learn more about HopeLine from Verizon and to become involved, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
SOURCE Verizon Wireless