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¡AVANZA! Receives $35,000 from NALCAB and Wells Fargo in Support of Financial Inclusion

Groundswell Capital's ¡AVANZA! Empowerment Fund will be able to support hundreds of Tucson's small businesses with high-quality, bilingual, and culturally competent financial education through this grant.

Groundswell Capital’s ¡AVANZA! Empowerment Fund received $35,000 in funding from the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) and Wells Fargo to further support the financial inclusion and trauma-informed financial education work that is instrumental to the ¡AVANZA! program. Upon receiving the grant, ¡AVANZA! was one of ten organizations to be accepted to the program, Supporting Equitable Recovery through Financial Wellness.


The ¡AVANZA! Empowerment Fund is a relationship-based microlending approach created specifically for under-represented small business owners in Tucson, AZ. This grant arrives just a month after the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona committed $20,000 towards culturally inclusive workshops within the ¡AVANZA! team. Thanks to the United Way and the City of Tucson for laying the foundation to support hundreds of small businesses, NALCAB and Wells Fargo’s generous contribution will leverage even more funding to Tucson’s multicultural entrepreneurs.


“Relationship-based lending is a two way street, we are finding. In order to truly meet the needs of a small business community that has traditionally been intentionally marginalized from the banking ecosystem, there is professional development and cultural understanding work that we, as lenders and capital providers, need to reflect on. We need to reconsider how we are talking about and teaching financial literacy within the context of financial-trauma and systemic discrimination. Through the joint support of NALCAB and United Way we are doing just that! More importantly, we are building a model for others to use as well!” said Dre Thompson, CEO of Groundswell Capital.


NALCAB is a national network of 200+ nonprofit organizations that serve diverse Latino communities across 46 states including Washington DC and Puerto Rico. NALCAB supports member organizations to better serve their communities through training, public policy work, peer-to-peer collaboration, and access to funding to help members build thriving communities; such as investment in Latino-owned small businesses.


Through this grant, ¡AVANZA! will be able to provide high-quality, bilingual, culturally competent financial education in collaborative partnership with the City of Tucson Small Business Program and Startup Unidos, who are both co-recipients of this award. Specifically, basic and advanced Spanish-language trauma-informed financial education for 120 companies, 100 hours of one-to-one accounting assistance grants, professional development in motivational interviewing, and much more.


City of Tucson Small Business Program Manager Francisca Villegas voiced, “With the generous support of Wells Fargo and NALCAB, we can continue to pave the way to success for our local businesses. This funding shows our Latino and minority small business entrepreneurs not only the community is rooting for them, impressive national organizations are as well. The City of Tucson Small Business Program takes pride in being part of a coalition that prioritizes the needs and interests of our community.”


The grassroots approach in transforming and mobilizing our small business community starts with reaching business owners where they are at, while thoughtfully delivering resources they traditionally would not have access to.


“AVANZA's work holds immense significance as it embraces a transformative approach, fostering economic empowerment and cultural inclusion within underserved communities. This groundbreaking strategy far exceeds the impact of traditional marketing campaigns, enabling us to reach and uplift those often deemed 'hard-to-reach.” explained Stéphanie Bermúdez, Founder of Startup Unidos.


In an effort to build a national model of financial and economic justice for our community, Groundswell Capital is thrilled to be pioneering sustainable, equitable, and innovative outreach to Tucson’s small businesses.


Learn more about the ¡AVANZA! Empowerment Fund at https://www.avanza.fund/or email dre@tucsonida.org

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