Wells Fargo Commits $25,000 to Help Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
Small Business Development Agencies Get Wells Fargo Funding to Better Serve Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
ACCION New Mexico, WESST Corp and The Loan Fund have received $25,000 from Wells Fargo New Mexico to support their groundbreaking partnership to better serve entrepreneurs with disabilities.
The project among three of New Mexico’s premier small business development agencies is helping ensure greater access to information and services for New Mexicans with disabilities who want to start or grow a business. The $25,000 contribution provides operational support to assist the agencies’ work with the New Mexico Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and support ongoing education and training efforts among the organizations’ staff about the issues entrepreneurs with disabilities face in securing capital and growing their businesses.
“Wells Fargo is committed to expanding access and opportunity for all individuals,” said Greg Winegardner, Regional President for Wells Fargo in New Mexico. “Supporting the efforts of entrepreneurs with disabilities will enhance employment and economic development in New Mexico. I commend ACCION, WESST Corp and The Loan Fund for their leadership and we are proud to support this initiative.”
Together, these organizations have served the state’s entrepreneurs for 50 years, with a focus on providing training, technical assistance and loans to underserved populations in New Mexico, including low-income, women and minority entrepreneurs. With this latest project, ACCION, WESST Corp and The Loan Fund are leveraging their collective resources to provide increased services for the nation’s largest minority group – people with disabilities.
There are some 300,000 people in New Mexico between the ages of 18 and 64 with disabilities, according to 2002 figures from the New Mexico Department of Health. That is 25 percent of the state’s population. Nearly 10 percent of New Mexico’s working-age population suffers from disabilities related to sensory, mobility, cognitive, self-care or leaving the home or work issues. Entrepreneurship is a viable and important alternative for these individuals who may face challenges in traditional work environments.
Key to each organization’s mission is creating positive economic change in New Mexico, and these organizations believe providing people with disabilities the tools for self-sufficiency is a critical need.
Officials from ACCION, WESST Corp and The Loan Fund said the Wells Fargo grant provides an important boost in their efforts to better serve entrepreneurs with disabilities. Looking ahead, these organizations will continue to seek out new sources of funding as part of the partnership to develop additional materials and services for entrepreneurs with disabilities.