Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Rural Enterprise Assistance Project Awards $9,000 to Nebraska Women for Business Development

-- from the desk of Steph Eastman, Communications Associate
Center for Rural Affairs


Nine women micro-entrepreneurs in Halsey, Naper, Seward, Central City, Fairbury, Peru, O’Neill and Roca, Nebraska each received a $1,000 cash equity award from The Center for Rural Affairs – Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP).

“This has been a unique opportunity for REAP to make awards to women business owners in Nebraska,” said Glennis McClure, REAP Women’s Business Center Director. “The awards are intended to help boost the recipient’s business success. Our REAP - Women's Business Center staff will work with them closely and look for positive results.”

REAP is one of only eight Local Partners to the national Women and Company. Microenterprise Boost Program (WCMBP). WCMBP provided the cash equity awards to assist the women in growing and developing their businesses.

REAP clients receiving $1000 awards include:
Diane Goodier, Halsey Stockade Inn, Halsey, Nebraska
Linda Goodman, Lynn’s Upholstery, Naper, Nebraska
Pat Coldiron, Liberty House B & B, Antiques and Gifts, Seward, Nebraska
Missy Hillmer, Hillmer Photography, Central City, Nebraska
Ann Yates, Honey Creek Vineyards & Bakery, Peru, Nebraska
Keri York, Therapeutic Dimensions, Fairbury, Nebraska
Linda Tynon, IADA (International Assoc. of Destination Agents), Peru, Nebraska
Jan McNichols, The Emerald Spa, O’Neill, Nebraska
Rose Templeton, Body Wise Health /Nutrition, Roca, Nebraska

Recipients were selected through an application process coordinated by REAP. The awards can be used for essential business development activities such as marketing, technology purchases, website development, inventory, or professional services.

In addition to the cash equity award, the recipients are receiving technical training and assistance from REAP on growing their business and maximizing their equity award. McClure, along with the REAP Business Specialist of their area, will visit the recipients to present their awards.

Funding for the WCMBP is provided by the Citigroup Foundation. Women and Company, a division of Citigroup, provides access to financial education and resources for women, and is working with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) to implement and promote the program.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

The Center for Rural Affairs – Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) consists of four elements including; networking, business management training, credit and technical assistance. Local rural communities form associations or roundtable networking groups which meet for discussing business ideas and problems, networking, ongoing training and reviewing loan applications if a local loan loss reserve is established. REAP is an SBA micro-loan program and operates the only SBA funded Women’s Business Center in Nebraska. REAP staff provide technical assistance, loan packaging assistance and training to rural small business owners.

Citigroup (NYSE:C), the preeminent global financial services company has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, and Banamex. The Citigroup Foundation focuses its grants primarily in three areas: financial education, educating the next generation, and building communities and entrepreneurs. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com.

Women and Company is a membership program from Citigroup designed to help women expand their financial knowledge, and prepare themselves for financial decisions that life’s transitions often bring. Women and Company provides financial education through conference calls, Master Classes, and newsletters; personal attention through toll-free resource lines for questions related to taxes, general finance, care giving, survivorship and real estate issues; and special savings on select Citigroup financial products. Additional information may be found at www.womenandco.com.

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the national association of community-based organizations that provide entrepreneurial education, access to capital, and support to aspiring and active low-income entrepreneurs. AEO's mission is to support the development of strong and effective U.S. microenterprise programs to assist underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing, and expanding businesses. To learn more about AEO or microenterprise, please visit our website at www.microenterpriseworks.org.

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