VEDC Awarded $150,000 Grant from Bank of America to Support Women Entrepreneurs in Los Angeles

Toni Ricci, owner of Elite Dance & Performing Arts and client of VEDC.

Women entrepreneurs are a critical component of sustainable economic growth.

Three community-minded organizations have joined forces to offer a financial and mentoring boost to women entrepreneurs in Los Angeles County. According to VEDC – a leading non-profit small business lender – up to 30 woman VEDC borrowers will receive two percent interest rate discounts thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, powered by Bank of America.

Launched in 2014, the Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America created the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program to connect women entrepreneurs to affordable capital to help grow their businesses, creating communities of women business owners.

“Access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles women entrepreneurs face,” says Laurie Fabiano, President of the Tory Burch Foundation. “Just $1 in every $23 loan dollars are given to women owned business. Through our partnership we are helping to level the playing field for women.”

Alex Guerrero, Chief Development Officer of VEDC, believes the Capital Program is an absolute difference-maker for women entrepreneurs, especially for those striving to achieve their business goals and create jobs in communities often underserved by traditional lending institutions. And while VEDC plans to leverage the grant to generate 1.5 million in loan capital for women-owned businesses, he points out that funding is just one piece of the Capital Program.

“As part of the program, women business owners have access to financial mentoring and coaching services through VEDC,” Guerrero said. “We offer a number of learning opportunities through our local business centers, including special workshops geared to women covering everything from accounting to marketing. The bottom line is that program participant’s benefit from having a team of experts providing insight, tips and encouragement every step of the way.”

Guerrero says that nothing is more gratifying than watching a client turn their long-time entrepreneurial dream into a business reality.

“Toni Ricci, featured on, founded Elite Dance & Performing Arts in Woodland…

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