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Citigroup Awards AEO Grant to Expand Women & Co. Microenterprise Boost Program


March 30, 2006, New York –The Citigroup Foundation and the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) are proud to announce the expansion of the 2006 Women and Company Microenterprise Boost Program. Through this program, over 100 women microentrepreneurs will receive cash equity awards from $500 to $2,500 to help them grow and develop their businesses. Fifteen local microenterprise organizations from around the country have been selected to distribute the awards to women microentrepreneurs in their local communities.

“Women and Company is proud to participate in this program because we believe all women should have the opportunity to achieve their financial goals,” said Lisa Caputo, President and CEO, Women and Company. “More and more women are finding they can begin to achieve financial independence by starting their own businesses, and these grants can have a practical and immediate impact as they strive to grow these businesses.”

In conjunction with this announcement, celebrations with local partners will be held in San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia, Miami and New York City.

The Women and Company Microenterprise Boost Program was launched in 2005 with a $110,000 grant from Citigroup Foundation. The program is designed to provide low- and moderate-income women microentrepreneurs the opportunity to achieve greater business success by providing cash awards that will have a measurable impact on the development of their business. In 2006, the Women and Company Microenterprise Boost Program will be supported by a $250,000 grant provided by the Citigroup Foundation.

Local partners will host events in the following cities:

* Women’s Opportunity Resource Center. – Philadelphia, PA – March, 27
* Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center – San Francisco, CA – March, 29
* NYANA - New York, NY – March, 29
* South Florida Urban Ministries, Inc., – Miami, FL – March, 29
* Business Investment Growth – Austin, Texas – April, 20

Recipients will receive technical training, business development guidance and assistance on growing their business and maximizing their equity award. The awards may be used for essential business development activities such as marketing, technology purchases, website development, inventory, or professional services.

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a national membership association for the microenterprise development industry, representing hundreds of microenterprise development programs across the country, manages the program. Women and Company, a division of Citigroup that provides access to financial education and resources for women, will work with AEO to implement and promote the program.


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