Financial giant Wells Fargo announced the launch of Works for Small Business, an initiative to deliver resources, guidance and services to help more small businesses achieve financial success.
The program provides support for business owners throughout the United States to help them build knowledge, access capital and expand their community of support.
A key element of Wells Fargo Works for Small Business is WellsFargoWorks.com, an enhanced online resource that offers financial guidance on topics such as building credit and sustaining growth to help business owners increase their knowledge and confidence.
The site includes hundreds of feature stories, informational resources and videos, featuring national small business strategy experts and business owners sharing their experiences.
Wells Fargo is also working with national business and community organizations, including the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the National Urban League, U.S. Black Chambers, the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and other trade associations.
With the initiative, Wells Fargo also is announcing a goal to extend $100 billion in new lending to small businesses by 2018. In addition, the Wells Fargo Works Project, an online video series, features the true stories of five small businesses working with Wells Fargo to achieve their business goals, as well as a contest for small business owners.
"[This initiative] is our commitment to help small businesses in more ways than ever before. It encompasses the products, services and resources needed for small business owners to take the next step to reach their business goals," Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "Most importantly, Wells Fargo Works for Small Business is delivered every day by our bankers who partner with business owners to help them succeed financially."
Eligible small business owners nationwide will have the chance to compete in a contest where five finalists each win $25,000 along with mentorship and tailored solutions for their business, and a $5,000 charitable donation to a charity in their community.
To enter, business owners must submit up to two and a half-minute video or 600-word essay responding to questions about their business. Twenty-five finalists will be selected to each receive $1,000 for their business. Five grand prize winners will then be selected from the 25 finalists, which will be announced in September.
"Working with small business owners is one of the most important things we do at Wells Fargo. We know America needs small businesses to grow, add jobs and prosper for our economy to fully thrive," Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo’s head of Small Business, said in a statement. "Through Wells Fargo Works for Small Business and our new lending goal, we want to provide the support small businesses across the country need to move forward."