City of Walla Walla and Mercy Corps Northwest Fuel Local Entrepreneurship

Walla Walla’s Micro-Business Assistance Program to host graduation ceremony for first program cohort

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The first cohort of participants in the City of Walla Walla and Mercy Corps Northwest’s Micro-Business Assistance (MBA) Program will graduate from a six-month business education and grant program next week. The partnering organizations will host a graduation ceremony for the participants and supporters while distributing a total of $48,000 in grants to 12 graduates.

The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. April 23, at the lobby of Baker Boyer Bank, 7 W. Main St. Participants – of whom 90 percent are women and 100 percent of the are Latinx or African American – will take time at the event to reflect on their experience, unveil business plans, and share their visions for the future.

Walla Walla’s MBA Program provides grants, loans, and education to new and existing businesses that may not qualify for traditional bank financing. Participants receive six weeks of business training to grow skills in finance, marketing, business strategy, credit building and formal business plan creation. While completing educational requirements, the program incentivizes participants to save $500 which is matched with a $4,000 grant once all program requirements are met.

The initiative is supported by a block partnership led by Mercy Corps and the City of Walla Walla and backed by seven partnering financial and educational institutions. Similar programs in Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash. show that 96 percent of all Mercy Corps Northwest clients remain in business 18 months after receiving support.

Applications for the next cohort will open on May 1, with preceding information sessions available through Mercy Corps Northwest and City of Walla Walla.

About City of Walla Walla

We provide municipal services and programs essential to a desirable community in which to live, work and play.

About Mercy Corps Northwest

As part of Mercy Corps, Mercy Corps Northwest is committed to advancing human potential for positive change. Across Oregon and Washington, Mercy Corps Northwest serves communities by providing business education, financing and equitable opportunities – with the vision of breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty for good.

April 17, 2019


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