Citi and Foundation for Small Business Development Launch Training Program
On March 21, Safeguard partnered with Citi and the Foundation for Small Business Development for the launch of the National Certification and Training Program.
Citi and Foundation for Small Business Development Launch National Certification and Training Program
Innovative partnership with Safeguard Properties will train and certify more than 400 small, minority- and women-owned businesses and will create local jobs
New York, NY (March 21, 2012) – Today, Citi and the Foundation for Small Business Development joined Karen G. Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Association, to announce the launch of the Partnership for Small Business Development, an innovative new national training and certification program that will empower more than 400 minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) to grow and create jobs. The enrollees will be subcontractors of Safeguard Properties, a field service vendor of Citi and partner in the project. The program will provide certification that will enable the businesses to qualify for set-aside contracts of large vendors like federal, state, and local governments and large companies. The program also will provide training to enable the businesses to compete successfully for those additional contracting opportunities.
Small businesses, particularly MWBEs, are very effective at driving economic growth and generating jobs. For instance, between 2002 and 2007, minority business growth outpaced that of non-minority firms in terms of total revenue, employment, and number of firms. 1 Furthermore, MBEs are especially effective at generating high quality jobs in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities for LMI residents.
“The Partnership will provide small businesses with additional tools and know-how to compete for more contracts from government and the private sector,” said Bob Annibale, Citi’s Global Director for Community Development. “The result will be increased revenues and the creation of new jobs in the communities that need them the most.”
Charles Rowe, Chairman of the Foundation for Small Business Development, which is coordinating the initiative, said, “This is the first time the nation’s largest small business support network has joined forces with the country’s two main third party certifiers of MWBEs to provide comprehensive assistance to entrepreneurs looking to grow their companies. Together, I know we will make a big difference. I want to thank Citi for supporting this powerful new partnership.”
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and other local and national certifying organizations, which offer nationally-recognized certification and business directories that match vendors to vetted MWBEs, will participate to ensure that all the participating businesses receive one-year nationally recognized certification by the end of 2012.
“Organizations like ours have well-established programs to improve MWBEs’ access to contracts with vendors committed to diversifying their supply chains, and we are seeing enormous growth,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. “In 2010, our corporate members spent $88 billion with our certified WBEs, almost double what was spent in 2007”.
“We are honored to help our contractors expand their economic opportunities through this remarkable program,” said Alan Jaffa, CEO, Safeguard Properties. “In addition to being potential employers, our contractors actively contribute to neighborhood stabilization through their property maintenance efforts in communities across the country, including Neighborhood Stabilization Program communities.”
The Small Business Development Center network — the largest network of its kind in the country — will provide each participating business with training and counseling in order to build its capacity and resources to seize the new contract channels opened by being certified. A 16-hour “grow your business” training curriculum will be delivered in a two-day “training summit” in each of Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas and New York City. On completion of the training, the participating small businesses will be more aware of financing opportunities and the optimal business management practices that will help with securing financing and contracts in the future.
About the Foundation for Small Business Development
The Foundation for Small Business Development (FSBD) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1995 and dedicated to the creation of educational material and the support, conduct and promotion of educational activities regarding small business. FSBD exists to support and publish independent non-partisan research and analysis through advances in studies focused on entrepreneurs and small business ownership while supporting the activities and goals of economic development organizations, in particular small business development centers.
About Citi Community Development
Citi Community Development is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial products and services, and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities. For more information, visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance, Enterprise Development, College Success, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. In the United States, the Citi Foundation also supports Neighborhood Revitalization programs. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance, Enterprise Development, and Neighborhood Revitalization to support environmental programs and innovations. Additional information can be found at www.citifoundation.com.
Safeguard Properties is the largest privately held mortgage field service company in the U.S. Founded in 1990 by Robert Klein and based in Valley View, Ohio, the company inspects and maintains defaulted and foreclosed properties for mortgage service companies, lenders, investors and other financial institutions. Safeguard employs more than 950 people, in addition to a network of thousands of contractors nationally. Website: www.safeguardproperties.com.
About Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), founded in 1997, is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations to provide its world class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to America’s corporations. For more information, visit www.wbenc.org.
To view the official press release, please click here.