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Jennifer Lopez and Grameen America Partner to Advance Financial Empowerment for Latina Businesswomen

Jennifer Lopez will serve as Grameen America's national ambassador to champion financial inclusion for Latina entrepreneurs historically excluded from financial services and the partnership will live under Lopez's Limitless Labs.

Global icon Jennifer Lopez and Grameen America, the nation’s fastest-growing microfinance organization, announced their partnership to advance financial empowerment for Latina businesswomen historically excluded from the financial mainstream. Grameen America provides access to business capital, credit- and asset-building, financial education and peer support to enable women living below the federal poverty level to boost their income and create jobs in their communities. Lopez’s latest philanthropic and values-driven project, Limitless Labs, aims to support Latina-owned small businesses. Grameen America seeks to empower 600,000 Latina entrepreneurs across 50 U.S. cities with $14 billion in life-changing business capital and six million hours of financial education and training by 2030. The new partnership seeks to advance the goals of both Limitless Labs and Grameen America.

Lopez—Grameen America’s National Ambassador

Lopez joins as Grameen America’s National Ambassador to advocate for and mentor over 150,000 women-run small businesses in Latinx communities. Limitless Labs looks to uplift, educate and provide resources to underserved communities like the one in The Bronx where Lopez grew up. Additional areas of focus include youth empowerment, civic engagement and empowering women with the confidence to live limitlessly. 

Grameen America envisions an inclusive society where entrepreneurs of all genders, races or incomes can access fair and affordable financial services to support upward economic mobility. The organization provides ongoing financial education to members. It also reports microloan repayments to credit bureaus to enable participants to build their financial identities. Since its founding in 2008, Grameen America has served over 150,000 women in 23 cities, distributed $2.6 billion in loans, and helped create and maintain 157,000 jobs. The organization’s repayment rate is over 99 percent. Its members have achieved an average credit score of 644 through participation in the program.

Grameen America microloan program—the pathway to financial empowerment for Latina businesswomen

To kick off her role as National Ambassador, Lopez will motivate, promote, and inspire Latina businesswomen. She will help them understand the pathway to financial independence and literacy by joining the Grameen America microloan program. Lopez will educate them on the importance of credit and asset-building and develop 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 humbled and beyond grateful to partner with Grameen America,” said Jennifer Lopez. “We’re building pathways to employment and leadership opportunities. There’s so much strength in this community and we’re harnessing that. This partnership will create equality, inclusivity and opportunity for Latina women in business. This will change the fabric of America!”

“Jennifer Lopez is a trailblazer, having given visibility and advocacy to ensure Latina women are educated, financially empowered, and healthy,” said Andrea Jung, President & CEO of Grameen America. “Grameen America is the only organization with the national scale, reach, 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 pathway to success for Latina women. They have historically lacked access to the formal financial markets and are often marginalized from economic opportunity.”

Latina women entrepreneurs—a fast-growing, yet untapped market

Despite gaps in opportunity, Latina entrepreneurs represent the fastest-growing, yet untapped, segment of U.S. small business owners. In the past 10 years, the number of Latino-owned small businesses has grown 44 percent compared to just four percent for non-Latinos, according to a recent report by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative. 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 four percent of all small business loans from mainstream financial institutions go to women, according to a report by the National Women’s Business Council.

“Asking for a loan from a bank is not as easy as people think. It is even more challenging for businesswomen in my community,” said Maria Lugo, Grameen America member and owner of Who’s Papi? Tires by Papi, an auto repair and tire shop located in Woodside, Queens. Lugo joined Grameen America in 2011 to revitalize her family’s struggling business. Today, Lugo’s thriving business has expanded in its size, services, and staff to meet growing demand. Most importantly, Lugo’s savings allowed her to send her three children to college. “The road to business success is not always easy to navigate. However, with hard work and access to financial services, education, and mentorship, it’s possible to achieve your vision,” said Lugo. “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.”

Are you interested in joining Grameen America’s program to support financial empowerment for Latina businesswomen? Learn more today. 

About Grameen America

Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen America, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit microfinance organization helping women in poverty build businesses to create better lives. 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 over $2.4 billion in more than 150,000 low-income women entrepreneurs. Opening originally in Jackson Heights, Queens, Grameen America has expanded to 22 cities in the nation.

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