WASHINGTON – The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), a Milwaukee-based nonprofit organization serving women entrepreneurs, is the recipient of this year’s Jody C. Raskind Lender Award. This recognition is presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration to a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow and expand.
The award will be presented by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to WWBIC President and Chief Visionary Officer Wendy Katherine Baumann on April 30, during the inaugural event of National Small Business Week at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C.
The Jody C. Raskind Award was first presented in 2015 to honor mission lenders that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the creation, growth and expansion of small businesses in underserved markets with a demonstrable impact on the communities it serves.
Jody Raskind led the SBA’s Office of Microlending for many years, and was widely known in the microlending community for her commitment and dedication to small businesses, particularly in underserved areas. She died in 2014.
Since its inception in 1987, WWBIC has assisted more than 58,000 individuals, loaned about $53 million to small business owners and helped create or save 10,500 jobs. In 2016 alone, WWBIC approved 159 loans for $8.1 million, and provided business education and technical assistance to more than 3,600 entrepreneurs, which translated into a big impact on the community it serves.
Under Baumann’s leadership, WWBIC ranks among the nation’s top 10 SBA microlenders, No. 5 in volume of both Microloans and Community Advantage loans and No. 6 in loan volume for both programs. In 1999, responding to a major need in the community, WWBIC launched the Financial Capabilities Initiative, which has since resulted in 152 first-time homeowners, 89 businesses started or expanded and 94 individuals attending college.
Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year National Small Business Week will be recognized April 30 – May 6, with events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, California. For more information on the national events, visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.