First Women’s Bank (FWB) on Thursday announced that Microsoft Corp. and United Airlines are the Bank’s newest Mission Partners. The companies join a growing list of FWB Mission Partners that includes Aon, Wendy’s, Comcast Corp., William Blair and the Western Golf Association, as well as other supporters, including investors Billie Jean King, Fidelity Investments, Bank of America and strategic advisors Sophia Bush and Nia Batts. In addition, FWB is spotlighting some of the small businesses it has financed since its grand opening last fall.
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“Closing the gender lending gap is a critical step toward achieving gender equality, and First Women’s Bank is the bank to do it,” said Marianne Markowitz, president and CEO, First Women’s Bank. “Together with our Mission Partners and supporters, First Women’s Bank will help bridge that gap, elevate small businesses and the communities they serve, and promote more inclusive economic growth.”
FWB’s innovative strategy combines national Small Business Administration lending with deposits from mission-aligned individuals, corporations and organizations to create accessible financing for small businesses with a strategic focus on the women’s economy. The support of FWB’s Mission Partners, through FDIC-insured mission deposits, helps expand economic opportunity for the women’s economy.
“We’re excited to partner with First Women’s Bank and continue to invest in the women’s economy,” said Anita Mehra, corporate vice president of global treasury & financial services at Microsoft. “Microsoft strives to create environments where people of a diverse range of backgrounds, especially women and women of color, have the resources and support they need to thrive.”
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“Women and women-led businesses are critical to growing and strengthening our economy and our communities,” said Pam Hendry, vice president and treasurer at United. “That’s why United is proud to partner with First Women’s Bank as a force for good in the communities we serve to help build a robust economic environment where women and women-led businesses have access to the opportunities and resources they need to flourish.”
In addition to Mission deposits, Microsoft plans to provide training and resources from its global skills initiative to small businesses through the FWB Collective. The FWB Collective is a community of resources, support and inspiration to help small businesses grow and thrive.
Just six months after its grand opening, First Women’s Bank is delivering on its mission to grow the economy and elevate the role of women within it.
“Our clients come to us with their dreams of owning and building their businesses,” said Markowitz. “With the support of our Mission Partners, shareholders, advisors and deeply committed team, First Women’s Bank is providing the capital, resources and community to help our clients and their businesses grow and thrive.”
Aisha and Ruth Miller, owners/operators, Tropical Smoothie, Burbank, Illinois
“As two Black women forging our own path, it was important for my mother and me to align with an organization that truly believed in us,” said Aisha Miller, owner/operator of Tropical Smoothie. “From the first interaction, First Women’s Bank treated us like family and was truly invested in our personal success. We could not have asked for a better partner on this journey.”
Lauret and Tosin Odesanya, owners/operators, Scooter’s Coffee, Texas
“From day one, the First Women’s Bank team was collaborative and transparent,” said Lauret Odesanya, owner/operator of Scooter’s Coffee. “They genuinely had our best interests at heart — our problem was their problem; our success was their success. We have a trusted partner in making our aims a reality.”
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