REI Oklahoma Receives Grant to Support Single Mother and Single Women Business Owners
REI Oklahoma and its Women’s Business Center receives a $10,000 grant to launch a scholarship and microgrant initiative to help elevate single mother and single women businesses owners in Oklahoma.
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 27, 2022) – REI Oklahoma, an economic development nonprofit, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma. The purpose of this grant is to help propel the launch or growth of small businesses that are majority-owned by single mother or single women households through their Women’s Business Center. REI Oklahoma and its Women’s Business Center serve all 77 counties in Oklahoma.
Funds from this grant will launch a scholarship and microgrant initiative that focuses on single mother, or single woman, households. These grant and scholarships will be smaller, targeted amounts with no expectation of financial repayment allowing recipients to attend trainings to elevate their business or purchase a tangible item. What is important about microgrants is that a woman might simply need to purchase a piece of equipment, allowing her to generate revenue, but does not have the resources to purchase. Microgrants will allow REI Oklahoma to help secure these tangible items which they could use as assets when the time is right to secure a business loan.
Those interested in applying to participate in this initiative must attend one of three scheduled information sessions. These information sessions will be virtual to ensure ease of access regardless of where those who qualify live in Oklahoma. The dates and times are as follows: January 12, 2023 – 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; January 14, 2023 – 10 to11 a.m.; and January 16, 2023 – 12 to 1 p.m. Following the final information session, the application will open and attendees may apply beginning January 18, 2023. Applications will close on March 15, 2023, or when all grant funds are expended. Recipients will be selected through a formal application process, with priority given to single mother or single woman household business owners.
“REI Oklahoma sees this generous grant from the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma aligning perfectly with the work we are already doing to remove barriers for single mothers and single women business owners and entrepreneurs allowing them to have deeper success in launching or growing their business,” said Sherry Harlin, REI Oklahoma senior vice president of development. “We have seen how small business ownership provides a vehicle to changing the well-being and financial stability of women and a microgrant, or a specific training scholarship, could be the mechanism that is needed.”
REI Women’s Business Center, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is Oklahoma’s only statewide Women’s Business Center, providing quality training, business counseling, access to capital and technical assistance. Each year the WBC provides 150 trainings and networking events. Topics include business planning, entrepreneurship, financing, marketing, ecommerce, social media, taxes, government contracting and more.
“We are excited about the possibilities of this grant in support of REI Oklahoma and it’s Women’s Business Center,” said Erika Warren, director of donor services and programs for the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma and Communities Foundation of Oklahoma. “REI Oklahoma’s Women’s Business Center Capacity Initiative is in perfect alignment with our mission of empowering women and ensuring their prosperity for generations to come.”
To sign up for one of the online information sessions, or to ask additional questions about the initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-658-2823 and ask to speak to a team member about REI Women’s Business Center Capacity Initiative.
About REI Oklahoma
Since 1982, REI Oklahoma has focused on cultivating an environment conducive to economic growth and job creation. As a statewide organization, REI Oklahoma understands the importance of adapting to specific community needs, respecting community culture and addressing the barriers many Oklahomans face. REI Oklahoma’s headquarters are in Durant, with additional offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. With the various point of entries to access services to REI Oklahoma, regardless of where a client enters, they have access to all REI Oklahoma programs. These programs include Business Lending, Housing Down Payment Assistance Program, Minority Business Center, New Market Tax Credit Program and the Women’s Business Center. To learn more about REI Oklahoma, visit https://www.reiok.org or call 800.658.2823. Follow REI Oklahoma on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.
About Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma:
Established in 2003, the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma advocates positive change for Oklahoma women and girls. Born out of the generosity of Merle Chambers, WFO was founded to give back to our state in a unique and deliberate way. The Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma is committed to providing ongoing support to low-income single mothers working to complete their post-secondary education at Oklahoma colleges and universities. WFO works with higher education institutions across Oklahoma to provide grants that are used not only for tangible items such as food, backpacks and baby supplies, but also for the services that can’t be quantified—such as mentoring, tutoring and even childcare. For more information, visit: www.wfok.org.