Bank of America said today it has committed an additional $20 million in funding for the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program to connect more women entrepreneurs to affordable loans, administered by community-development financial institutions.
Since the program launched in 2014, more than $30 million in capital has been deployed to more than 1,400 women entrepreneurs, bringing the total capital program commitment to $50 million.
“Our work with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program represents one way we are able to deploy capital in support of sustainable economic growth in our local communities,” said Anne Finucane, vice chairman, Bank of America. “The program elevates economic and social progress for women entrepreneurs and helps to grow small businesses in communities across the U.S.”
The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, supported by Bank of America, seeks to increase the number and size of businesses owned and led by women, creating communities of women entrepreneurs and advancing economic growth across the U.S.
“Access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles women entrepreneurs face today. Just $1 in $23 in loans goes to women-owned businesses, and that needs to change,” said Tory Burch, founder of the Tory Burch Foundation, who is also chief executive officer and chief creative officer of Tory Burch LLC. She said the capital program with Bank of America is helping to level the playing field and she is excited about the bank’s increased commitment of capital.
The capital program currently operates in 16 U.S. states.
One of the capital program’s success stories is that of entrepreneur and dance instructor Toni Ricci, who opened her Elite Dance and Performing Arts Center in Woodland Hills, Calif. Ricci needed working capital to grow her business, but with a low credit score and no savings, she couldn’t get a loan from traditional sources. A Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program loan was game-changing. “We started with 60 students; now, we have nearly 400 students and offer more than 100 weekly classes. We also train 15 competitive teams that travel across the country,” said Ricci, whose company now has 20 employees.
Today, Bank of America is hosting a thought leadership event, “Women Driving Economic and Social Progress” at The Getty Center in Los Angeles. Featured speakers include Burch, Finucane and Maria Shriver, journalist and author.