Our 2017 Annual Report is Released

Here are some of our Economic Impact Numbers

Grand Rapids, MI – Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, (GROW) a women-focused entrepreneurial support and training organization, has recently released their Annual Report for 2017. The report highlights GROW’s expansion to the Lakeshore, the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the Economic Impact GROW’s programs had in 2017.

GROW offers numerous classes and workshops every year. In 2017 alone, GROW presented 1,166 hours of classroom education and 615 hours of free one-on-one business counseling to budding entrepreneurs and small business owners. Most of these classes are available at a very low or no cost.

GROW’s economic impact correlates with GROW’S Lending Program. GROW’s Lending program is aimed to help entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses when traditional financing is not available. GROW has loaned over 1.6 million dollars to date through this program, with 350 thousand dollars loaned in 2017 with an average loan amount of $30,000. This unique funding and technical assistance support has helped create new businesses and jobs in West Michigan. In 2017, 62 new businesses opened creating 92 jobs in many industries including Professional Services, Retail, and Food Services.

“As we approach the 30th anniversary in 2019, we continue to serve a growing diverse client base in ages, ethnicity and income, and follow our original mission of empowering and supporting our clients through the various stages of business ownership.” shared Bonnie Nawara, CEO of GROW. “Of the 790 individual clients we served last year, 89% were female and 11% were male, and more notably 39.2% of the 790 participants were African American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American, and 42% were low-to-moderate income individuals.

About GROW: Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) is an organization focused on women and men at various stages of business ownership. They are the entrepreneurial resource throughout West Michigan to help entrepreneurs take the next step, empowering and supporting them with professional expertise for a lifetime.  More than half of those GROW serves are low to moderate income individuals who want to start or build their business.  GROW is one of only 110 certified Women’s Business Centers in the nation, and one of three in Michigan, all in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration.