Wachovia Surpasses $1 Billion In Loans To Women-Owned Businesses
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Wachovia announced today that it has provided more than $1 billion in loans to women-owned businesses in only two years.
The women-owned business market is one of the fastest growing in the country. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women-owned firms continue to grow at nearly twice the rate of all firms – 42 percent compared to 23 percent for all firms.
Women-owned business customers served by Wachovia have increased 64 percent over the past two years. Wachovia launched its strategy to support women-owned businesses in 2005 and hired Selma Fox to lead the strategy in the Business Banking segment, which serves business customers with $3 million-$15 million in annual revenues.
Fox attributes the success with women business owners to the personal commitment Wachovia’s bankers have made to reach out to women in their communities.
“The bankers I work with make reaching out to women business owners a part of their everyday work,” Fox said. “It’s not about having products made specifically for women; that’s not what they need. They need a banker who understands their business’ operations and goals and can provide advice and services that match those needs. That’s what Wachovia provides to our customers.”
In addition to developing banking relationships with individual customers, Wachovia has also made inroads with key women’s organizations to support the growth of women-owned business. Wachovia has been a partner to the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Women Presidents’ Organization for nearly three years.
“With the support of women-led and women-owned businesses, Wachovia has strengthened the growth of these companies,” said Marsha Firestone, president and founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization. “In doing so, these enterprises have employed more, contributed more to the tax base, and had a significant impact on the economy. Wachovia is to be applauded for its innovative programs.”
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