Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. and Mutual of Omaha Bank have joined forces to provide entrepreneurs from low and moderate income backgrounds the opportunity to develop business skills and receive funding to become more independent and successful.
Through Goodwill’s MicroEnterprise Institute, more than 215 entrepreneurs have received business training and many have successfully started their own business.
MicroEnterprise sessions typically meet for six weeks and cover an array of topics including developing a business plan, feasibility planning and cash flow. Representatives from Mutual of Omaha Bank and other partners often provide the instruction for the classes.
In addition to providing educational support, Mutual of Omaha Bank has contributed $15,000 to the program.
“Microenterprise businesses are the backbone of our economy,” said Elliott Rittenhouse, Director of the MicroEnterprise Institute for Goodwill. “A microenterprise is a small business with fewer than five employees that requires $35,000 or less of start-up money. They represent 87 percent of all businesses in the United States and currently there are more than 24 million microenterprises throughout the country.”
Participants who complete the MicroEnterprise course are invited to apply for a small character-based micro-loan from Goodwill and lending partners like Mutual of Omaha Bank.
“As a local bank, investing in our community is a key priority for us,” said Tiffany Homuth, Market President for Mutual of Omaha Bank. “We have a special focus on meeting the needs of low and moderate income individuals, so partnering with great community organizations like Goodwill Industries is important to us. Whether it’s a personal or business loan, we finance projects that continue efforts to boost our economy and create affordable living opportunities.”
For more information about MicroEnterprise visit www.goodwillswfl.org/microenterprise. For more information visit www.goodwillswfl.org. For more information about Mutual of Omaha Bank, visit www.mutualofomahabank.com.