It started in July 2010 when Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program launched an innovative program to provide Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grants to domestic violence survivors to help them start or expand a small or home-based business.
One of the first to receive a grant is Ebony Fletcher who almost lost her life to an abusive ex-boyfriend after he sat on her back and shot her in the head. The $5,000 grant she received from the Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine Program in 2011, allowed Ebony to grow her business by purchasing new equipment and expand her line of hair products.
Over the years the program expanded and even more survivors were offered a grant to start-up or expand a business.
Last week, Verizon launched entrepreneur training programs in New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany to continue to support domestic violence survivors and help them rebuild their lives.
Verizon’s $500,000 in grants to five workforce development organizations across New York State will fund the development of training programs to help survivors start or expand their own small or home-based businesses, which can lead to greater financial stability and independence, crucial factors in breaking the cycle of violence.
These five organizations, in partnership with local domestic violence advocacy agencies, are developing programs to educate and mentor survivors to develop a viable business plan for their venture.
Participants who complete one of the five entrepreneurship training programs will be eligible to apply for a Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant, up to $5,000, through the HopeLine program. To date, 14 grants totaling $57,500 have been awarded across New York State, with more planned in 2012.
Below are the five organizations currently recruiting participants for their local program. Each program builds on existing ones and align with the needs of the local community. Courses include financial literacy, taxes, legal issues, time management, conflict/problem resolution, professional etiquette, and more.
For more information on the Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant click here or visit the organization’s website below.
• New York – Sanctuary for Families, Inc.
• Syracuse – WISE Women’s Business Center and Vera House
For information about domestic violence in the workplace and why it’s your business click here.
If you received a grant for your business, share your story with us.
[Photo from left to right: Dorothy Cucinelli, Equinox, Inc.; Richard Bennett, Hudson Valley Community College; John O’Malley, Verizon Wireless; Kathy Magee, Equinox, Inc.; Ebony Fletcher, Owner, Ebbies Hair and Nails Salon, Inc.; Amy Barasch, New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence; and Heather Briccetti, The Business Council of New York State.]