YWCA Oahu and Wells Fargo help small businesses recover from pandemic

YWCA’s mission is to end racism, empower women, and strengthen the community. HI Now host Rachel Pacarro sits down with YWCA to learn more about their new program that helps small businesses.

Sponsored by YWCA Oahu

The Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund is a 420 million dollar small business recovery effort. It’s created to help entrepreneurs with staying open, maintaining jobs, and growing. The program works with non-profit organizations like YWCA Oahu to deploy low-cost capital emergency grants and open access to experts. “It’s been really amazing to see how resilient businesses are and how they’re determined to stay open, especially in Hawaii,” says Katie Rollyson, Vice President of Community Affairs at Wells Fargo.

The pandemic placed many barriers for small businesses in Hawaii, and YWCA hopes to knockdown those barriers and open a pathway for success. They want to offer training for small business employees to create a stronger workforce.

Perfect candidates for this program are small businesses, mom and pop stores, and entrepreneurs who were affected by COVID-19. Although YWCA normally focuses on women, anyone can benefit from this program!

Through the Wells Fargo Open For Business effort, YWCA was able to create a unique, new program based around collaboration. “I’m happy to say that through our programs: the Patsy T Mink Center for Business and Leadership, MBDA Enterprising Women of Color, Dress for Success Honolulu, in partnership with community partners, Business Law Core and Mana Up Hawaii, we were able to create all these wonderful programs and cohorts to the community,” says Terri Funakoshi, Chief Operating Officer at YWCA Oahu.

YWCA is offering cohort classes, advanced business courses, business counseling, legal counseling, mentorship and leadership courses. More importantly, all these classes and services are free! Terri encourages every small business owner to check out YWCA’s offerings at ywcaoahu.org.