Entrepreneur Works Receives Grant from Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network’s “Create Jobs for USA” Initiative

February 10, 2012

Local CDFI to Help Spur Job Creation in the US


(Philadelphia, PA) February 10, 2012 – Entrepreneur Works, a local community lender, announced today that it has received a capital grant from the Create Jobs for USA Fund, a collaboration between Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The money will help Entrepreneur Works create and sustain jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region as part of a national campaign to support community businesses in underserved communities.

Entrepreneur Works is one of the top-tier community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the nation to be awarded a grant from the fund since the program began allocating awards in November of 2011. The Create Jobs for USA Fund pools donations from Starbucks customers, partners/employees, and concerned citizens into a nationwide fund, held and managed by OFN, for community business lending. Donors who contribute $5 or more will receive a red, white, and blue wristband with the message “Indivisible.” The wristbands are individually handmade in the U.S.A. and all component materials are manufactured by U.S. suppliers, so the effort is also helping support American manufacturing jobs.

Since November 1 The Create Jobs for USA Fund has been collecting donations at www.CreateJobsforUSA.org and at nearly 7,000 company-operated Starbucks across the country. 100% of the donations will support organizations like Entrepreneur Works lending for job creation and retention across the US.

“Create Jobs for USA is making it possible for Americans who have $5 to share help people who don’t have $5 to spare by creating and retaining jobs in their communities,” explained Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of OFN. “Entrepreneur Works received this grant because it has demonstrated that it will provide financing that is good for community businesses and good for communities.”

“We’re pleased that Starbucks recognizes the important work that CDFIs are doing, and honored that the Create Jobs for USA Fund has made a grant to us,” said Leslie Benoliel, Executive Director at Entrepreneur Works. “Create Jobs for USA is unprecedented for the CDFI industry. It is shining a national spotlight on our work and will help Entrepreneur Works to create and sustain jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

CDFIs provide financing to community businesses in underserved markets where would-be community business owners may not qualify for credit from traditional lending institutions. Community businesses include small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate developers, and affordable housing developers. All of these community businesses help to create and sustain local jobs.

Community business owners who would like to apply for a loan from Entrepreneur Works can get more information at www.myentrepreneurworks.org . Or to find other CDFIs, visit http://opportunityfinance.net/findacdfi.

Entrepreneur Works provides microloans, small business development services, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Philadelphia region. 

For more information about Entrepreneur Works, please contact Leslie Benoliel, Executive Director, at (215) 545-3100.

About Entrepreneur Works
Entrepreneur Works is a non-profit 501(c)(3) microenterprise development organization focused on growing businesses and jobs in our local communities. Our mission is to cultivate and promote successful entrepreneurs in underserved areas of the Greater Philadelphia region – entrepreneurs who then become economic engines in their own neighborhoods. By connecting hundreds of entrepreneurs each year with access to capital, one-on-one technical assistance, business training and networking opportunities, Entrepreneur Works helps promising individuals to develop economic self-sufficiency and create job opportunities through business ownership. For more information, please visit www.myentrepreneurworks.org

About Opportunity Finance Network
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the national network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)—private financial institutions that are 100 percent dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low‐income, low‐wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. CDFIs in the OFN network serve all 50 states, and OFN Member CDFIs originated more than $23.2 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities through 2009. More information is available at: www.opportunityfinance.net

About Create Jobs for USA
Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network have joined forces to help create and sustain jobs in communities across the country. Create Jobs for USA is a bold initiative to spark new financing to community businesses so they can hire and preserve jobs. Learn more or donate now at: www.createjobsforusa.org