Jennifer Lopez Partners with Grameen America to Accelerate its Goal to Deploy $14 Billion in Loan Capital to 600,000 Low-Income Latina Entrepreneurs by 2030 |

Leading nonprofit microfinance organization Grameen America provides business capital, education and support services to propel financial empowerment for women of color

Jennifer Lopez will serve as Grameen America’s national ambassador to advocate for financial inclusion for Latino entrepreneurs historically excluded from financial services and the partnership will live under Lopez’s Unlimited Labs

NEW YORK, June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Global Icon Jennifer Lopez and Grameen America, the nation’s fastest growing microfinance organization, today announce that they are partnering to advance the financial empowerment of Latino businesswomen historically excluded from the mainstream of finance. Grameen America provides access to business capital, credit and asset building, financial education, and peer support to enable women living below the federal poverty line to increase their income and to create jobs in their communities. The new partnership aims to advance both Lopez’s latest philanthropic project, Limitless Labs, which aims to support Latino-owned small businesses, as well as Grameen America’s goal of empowering 600,000 Latino entrepreneurs in 50 cities. American with $14 billion in life-changing business capital and 6 million hours of financial education and training by 2030.

Lopez joins as National Ambassador for Grameen America to champion and mentor the organization’s network of more than 150,000 women-led small businesses in predominantly Latino communities across United States. Limitless Labs, home to all of Lopez’s philanthropic and values-driven work, aims to uplift, educate and provide essential resources to underserved communities like that of The Bronx where Lopez grew up. Other areas of focus include youth empowerment, civic engagement, and empowering women with the confidence to live without limits.

Grameen America envisions an inclusive society in which all entrepreneurs, regardless of gender, race, or income, have access to equitable and affordable financial services to support upward economic mobility. The organization provides ongoing financial education to its members and reports microloan repayments to credit bureaus to allow participants to build their financial identity. Since its inception in 2008, Grameen America has served more than 150,000 women in 23 US cities, distributed $2.6 billion in loans and helped create and maintain 157,000 jobs. The organization’s repayment rate is over 99% and its members have achieved an average credit score of 644 through their participation in the program.

To launch her role as National Ambassador, Lopez will motivate, promote and inspire Latin American businesswomen, helping them understand the path to financial independence and literacy by joining the Grameen America microcredit program. Lopez will mentor the organization’s existing Latino business owners, educating them on the importance of credit and asset building and developing a savings program to promote financial resilience. The partnership will also enhance Grameen America’s financial education and training platform, prioritizing digital and multimedia resources to promote financial literacy.

“Being Latino in this country has always been a matter of pride for me. I am honored and beyond grateful to be associated with Grameen America,” said Jennifer Lopez. “We are building pathways to employment and leadership opportunities. There is so much strength in this community and we are harnessing it. This partnership will create equality, inclusivity and opportunity for Latin American women in business. It will change the fabric of America!”

Jennifer Lopez is a pioneer, having given visibility and advocacy to ensure Latin women are educated, financially empowered and healthy,” said Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen America. “Grameen America is the only nationwide organization with the scale and proven model required to deploy $14 billion in loan capital to emerging businesswomen in Latinx communities. Together, we will shape entrepreneurship as a viable path to success for Latino women who have never had access to formal financial markets and who are often excluded from economic opportunities.”

Despite the lack of opportunity, Latino entrepreneurs represent the fastest growing, yet untapped, segment of American small business owners. Over the past 10 years, the number of small businesses owned by Latinos has increased by 44%, compared to just 4% for non-Latinos, according to a recent report by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative. The same report notes that Latino-owned businesses are significantly less likely than white-owned businesses to receive loans from national banks, despite demonstrating strong lending criteria. For women, financial exclusion is disproportionately higher as only 4% of all small business loans from traditional financial institutions go to women, according to a report by the National Women’s Business Council.

“Applying for a loan from a bank is not as easy as you think, and even more difficult for businesswomen in my community,” said Mary Lugo, member of Grameen America and owner of Who’s Papi? Tires by Papi, an auto repair and tire store located in wood side, queens. Lugo joined Grameen America in 2011 to revitalize his family’s struggling business. Today, the thriving business in Lugo has expanded in size, services and staff to meet growing demand. More importantly, Lugo’s savings enabled him to send his three children to college. “The road to business success isn’t always easy, but with hard work and access to financial services, education and mentorship, it’s possible to achieve your vision,” Lugo said. “Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher.”

Are you interested in joining the Grameen America program? Learn more today.

About Grameen America

Founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus |, Grameen America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microfinance organization dedicated to helping women living in poverty start small businesses to create a better life for their families. The organization offers microloans, training, and support to transform communities and fight poverty in the United States. Since opening in January 2008, Grameen America has invested more than $2.4 billion in more than 150,000 low-income women entrepreneurs. Originally opened in Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded to 22 cities in Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Camden, NJ, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Connecticut, Dallas, TX, Fresno, CA , Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Los Angeles, CA, Memphis, TN, Miami, FL, Newark, NJ, New York City, NY, Omaha, NE, Oakland, CA, San Antonio, TX, San Jose, CA, Trenton, NJ and Union City, New Jersey.

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