J.P Morgan Chase awards grant funding to empower entrepreneurs in underserved communities
SEATTLE – J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) announced a philanthropic investment of $350,000 in Ventures, a leading anti-poverty nonprofit that creates inclusive economic growth by providing low-income entrepreneurs with the resources and skills to build pathways out of poverty through small business ownership.
The funds will allow Ventures to expand and replicate their innovative incubation services, which provide critical access to markets, training and coaching opportunities for low-income entrepreneurs. Through an e-commerce site, commercial kitchen space, pop-ups, gift shows and more, funding from Chase will equip at least 150 local micro-business owners with the opportunity to increase their incomes and move out of poverty. The partnership will also enable Ventures to replicate these services in new communities through their consulting arm, The Ventures Network, and evaluate and publish their findings for use in other communities nationwide.
The $350,000 donation was presented at a special pop-up market at Pike Place Market’s MarketFront Pavilion on Monday, July 23rd. View pictures from the event.
Viviana Lopez is one of the entrepreneurs that will receive business incubation services as a result of this partnership, and she will be in attendance at the July 23rd pop-up market. Viviana moved to the United States from Spain in 2012 with the vision of creating colorful jewelry out of fruits and seeds from around the world. She found and enrolled in Ventures’ Latino program, which helped her learn business skills in a bilingual environment. She now sells her products in the Ventures Marketplace, Ventures’ retail store and business incubator in Pike Place Market. Despite the many challenges, she says “Ventures came into my life and helped me find my focus… the constant training from Ventures and its great team of professionals helped me grow as a person and a business owner.”
Beto Yarce, Executive Director of Ventures, said “Stories like Viviana’s demonstrate the incredible impact that comprehensive support and business incubation can have for entrepreneurs with limited resources. We are so proud of Viviana and everything that she has been able to accomplish, and we look forward to expanding our incubation programs and serving more than 150 additional entrepreneurs through this unique and innovative partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase. We are so grateful for their support for small business owners and for their leadership and investment in programs that allow us to empower entrepreneurs with limited resources.”
“JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping communities make long-term investments by increasing the number of small business opportunities, and we feel our support of Ventures is an important way we are helping to build the long-term success of the local economy,” said JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Pacific Northwest, Phyllis Campbell. “Too many people cannot find jobs and, as a result, they’re missing out on critical opportunities to be personally and professionally successful in the future. Chase is pleased to help build the infrastructure and create the connectivity for entrepreneurs to grow because we know that small businesses are the drivers of the business community.”
Ventures is a Seattle-based nonprofit that empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential. We provide access to business training, capital, coaching, and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs. We serve those in our community for whom traditional business development services are out of reach, with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. Our ultimate goal is to support individuals to increase their income potential, achieve long-term financial stability, provide for their families, and enrich their communities through small business ownership.
Since its founding, Ventures has provided over $1.4 million to help low-income entrepreneurs launch more than 2,500 businesses across Washington State. The typical Ventures entrepreneur supports a family of two on $22,267 upon enrollment, and 63 percent of Ventures entrepreneurs move out of poverty within two years.