ACCION: Empowering Women

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Practical financial info that can help women start improving their financial situation immediately. “This is a perfect opportunity for busy moms, energetic entrepreneurs and harried heads-of-the-household to take control of their financial situations

It was as if P Diddy happened on the scene at Baruch College, Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship on Wednesday, June 6th, but just as powerful in her delivery was On Trac Manager, Irene Dominguez, who was bringing it live in the classroom for the first of a series of workshops – a Citywide financial literacy campaign for women presented by the Allstate Foundation and ACCION New York entitled, “Save, Strengthen, and Succeed! Financial Tips for Real Women�.


Borough President, Scott Stringer kicked-off the eight-week series with an address highlighting the importance of empowering New York City’s women with the resources they need to reach financial independence.  “Too many women spend their lives caring for others, only to be left financially vulnerable or worse as they age,� stated Borough President Stringer.


The campaign was designed by ACCION to provide practical financial information that can help women start improving their financial position immediately.  “This is a perfect opportunity for busy moms, energetic entrepreneurs and harried heads-of-the-household to take control of their financial situations,� stated Jennifer Spaziano, Vice President of Business Development at ACCION.  “Women who manage their finances well have the money they need to provide for their families, to build strong businesses, and to fall back on in case of emergency.  We’re proud to partner with the Allstate Foundation to provide women with the tools they need to thrive financially,� elaborated Spaziano. 


This reporter had the chance to speak with some of the women who attended the empowering event.  As a result of the ACCION workshop, Delilah is even more enthusiastic about the possibilities of opening a small business for herself.  She said she found the workshop to be very informative and encouraging.  Melody told BSN she learned a lot in the ACCION workshop and she is looking forward to the next one.  Megan stated that she was very satisfied with what she learned at the ACCION workshop.  She wants to open up a daycare center for children and came to the ACCION workshop to find out what she will need to get started, and how credit affects business.  Sandra enjoyed and appreciated the information she received at the ACCION workshop, as well.  She wants to open a doggie daycare center and she came to learn about raising funds, getting certified in dog training and partnership possibilities. 


Allstate Chairperson, Kelly Constanza proudly stated, “We are in this partnership because we’re committed to financial literacy and we take our commitment to businesswomen in this community very seriously.  Our dedication to New York’s society is most evident when we strive to develop and nurture initiatives to help the business community grow and prosper.  Backed by resources from every level of our organization (the Allstate Foundation) and with effective partners like ACCION New York, thousands of female entrepreneurs will be exposed to real and useful financial advice that can significantly enhance their quality of life.�


A huge majority of the women who attended the first workshop in the series were African American, and those who were not hailed from African, Hispanic or other ethnic descent.


“Financial literacy is a crucial skill for anyone who wants control over their life and their future.  I applaud ACCION for its work teaching New Yorkers to budget, live within their means, and save for their future,� Borough President Stringer said.


Women interested in attending a “Save, Strengthen, and Succeed" seminar in their community can call (212) 387-0494 or visit www.accionnewyork.org for a full workshop schedule.


The Allstate Foundation is an independent charitable organization funded by contributions from subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation.  The Foundation believes a thriving; viable community is one where residents have access to economic resources and knowledge to make informed decisions about their financial future.

ACCION New York (www.accionnewyork.org), the largest micro-lending organization in the United States, contributes to the economic development of the New York metropolitan region by providing loans and advisory services to those that do not have access to traditional sources of credit.  Since its inception in 1991, ACCION New York has provided over $68.5 million in small loans to entrepreneurs that do not have access to traditional sources of credit, lending a benchmark $14million in 2006 alone.  Ranging from experienced restaurateurs to home-based businesses and native New Yorkers to recent immigrants, loan recipients have transformed capital into citywide economic development, positive community change, and personal empowerment.

Brenda Jeanne Wyche, Advocate for Solutions and Results is Managing Editor for The Black Star News and Harlem Business News, CEO of Winning Strategies & Associates, "Bringing Great Ideas To Life"  www.winningbeginnings.com and Director of Public Relations for The Phenomenal Women Group www.thephenomenalwomen.org .  If you have a solution, contact Brenda@blackstarnews.com .  Maybe we’ll talk.

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to Milton@blackstarnews.com
“Speaking Truth To Empower.�

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