AT&T CSR program provides $250,000 to help strengthen opportunities for women of color entrepreneurs throughout California

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AT&T California announced that it has awarded 10 Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) each with $25,000 in funding as part of its Microenterprise Technical Assistance Program (MTAP).  Launched in 2006, the program reinforces AT&T’s ongoing commitment to supplier diversity and is designed to help strengthen the operations and improve the viability of traditionally underserved, self-employed and small-business owners in California. This year’s funding benefited organizations that provide assistance to women of color business owners.

“AT&T is committed to enhancing and strengthening opportunities for minority-owned businesses in California,” said Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California.  “That’s why we’re proud to support this year’s MTAP recipients and the outstanding work they are doing to ensure that small business owners – especially women of color – have the training, counseling and mentoring needed to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace.”

“It is so important right now to invest in programs that can stimulate jobs and economic growth in our communities,” said United States Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D- Sacramento).  “Organizations focused on providing training and mentoring for small businesses, especially for women and minority populations, can make a real impact because those businesses are the driving force behind our local economies.”

The 10 organizations receiving funding have demonstrated a successful track record of providing training and technical assistance to diverse, low- and moderate-income aspiring and existing small business owners across California.

The award recipients for 2009 are:

Asian Resources, Inc., Sacramento – To support the creation of workshops and training to assist women from the local community, primarily immigrants, in developing and building business basics that will help them achieve self-sufficiency.  The training includes seminars on basic computer skills, financial literacy, marketing, leadership, presentation and research skills.

Central California Small Business Development Center, Fresno – To further expand the microenterprise training classes that feature state and federal certification training, bidding process, accounting, financial literacy, business planning, networking and one-on-one consulting for women of color in Fresno, Madera and Tulare counties.  This bilingual training is designed to assist in business start-ups and expansion.

CHARO Community Development Corporation, Los Angeles – To coordinate bilingual breakfast certification training seminars and supplier diversity workshops that focus on procurement matching, sales training, credit repair, accessing credit and networking so that clients can learn how to secure and retain federal contracts while strengthening their business management and technology skills.

Institute for Women Entrepreneurs, Santa Ana – This funding will help underwrite the Institute’s signature program “RtStart Business Edge” which provides intensive learning through business and technical curriculums, self examination, and coaching and mentoring to help women entrepreneurs identify areas that are critical for business success.

International Rescue Committee, San Diego – To augment the “Support, Training and Assistance to Refugee (STAR) Women” program, which provides one-on-one technical assistance and access to capital and sector-specific training to refugee women entrepreneurs.  The training program also includes assistance with permits, licenses, business plan development, industry research, financial planning, and advertising and marketing support.

La Cocina, San Francisco – To provide affordable, licensed commercial kitchen space and technical assistance to women interested in careers as food entrepreneurs.  The program provides an incubator environment for start-up businesses so that they can successfully transition their businesses by interacting with food industry experts, and acquire culinary and food industry techniques. In addition, program participants receive mentoring so they can learn to improve business operations, marketing, profit, economic scale and sustainability, distribution channels, and production and marketing strategies.

Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, Santa Ana – To  provide leadership training classes and economic development programs for small women- owned businesses in collaboration with the Orange County Small Business Development Center.  The one-stop technical assistance will focus on access to financing, business development, e-marketing, application software, database management and international business resources.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, San Francisco – To support customized training and  individual coaching for 200 clients through the Giving Resources and Opportunities to Women (GROW) program.  The training will help women improve operations and sustainability of their businesses and increase their customer base.

Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, Los Angeles – To provide entrepreneurial training to new and potential female-owned businesses (primarily immigrants) with a particular focus on operating home-based child care businesses.  The bilingual training will focus on financial literacy, communication, business writing, accounting, budgeting, business planning and computer skills.

Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, San Francisco – To  expand their program of developing low-income, high-potential women of color businesses and positioning them as community elders in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.  Training includes business planning, financial literacy, computer skills, marketing, customer relations, and entrepreneurial readiness assessment.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the  AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.