Contact: Ash Kosiewicz, LEDC Communications and Advocacy Director
Elaine Edgcomb, FIELD Director, The Aspen Institute
David Roskin, Public Affairs, Citi
Pilot Initiative is Part of Multi-Market Study of the Use of Community Based Intermediaries to Help Low-Income Entrepreneurs Build Credit Through Financial Coaching and Secured Credit Cards
WASHINGTON –– The Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) announced today the launch of a new program that will provide financial coaching and education, along with access to a secured credit card, to DC-area micro-entrepreneurs whose credit profiles need strengthening to qualify for business financing. The program is part of the Asset Building Through Credit pilot program, a research effort by the Aspen Institute that will study a multi-dimensional approach for building credit and financial opportunities for aspiring low-income entrepreneurs in five markets nationwide.
The overall study is funded by a $750,000 grant from the Citi Foundation to the Aspen Institute’s FIELD (Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination) program, which is making grants to five nonprofit microenterprise organizations including LEDC to implement the credit-building pilot program. In addition to providing training, technical assistance and a series of ongoing peer learning activities to support the pilot, FIELD will analyze the execution and outcomes of the program in each of the five markets to assess whether financial education and coaching combined with an innovative secured credit card platform can increase credit scores and expand the small businesses of more than 600 low-income entrepreneurs. FIELD’s evaluation of the program will determine both the effectiveness and scalability of the approach.
“Our strengths in financial coaching and outreach will be complemented by the capacity to offer a secured credit card,” said LEDC Executive Director Manny Hidalgo. “Combining education with access to financial tools is an effective approach to expanding financial inclusion and achieving financial independence. That’s a goal we share with the Aspen Institute and Citi, and we are pleased to have been selected to implement this program in the DC area.”