Carmela Hill Legacy Fund

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The National Association of Women Business Owners reports that one of the biggest challenges for women-owned businesses is accessing capital or start-up funds. Women business owners still face greater obstacles in obtaining financing for their businesses than men do, and the disparities are even greater for women of color.

YWCA Tulsa is excited to announce Women Mean Business, a small business start-up loan program, funded by the Carmela Hill Legacy Fund, designed for Tulsa women who are experiencing economic barriers.

The Carmela Hill Legacy Fund is generously supported by Tulsa Area United Way, Bank of Oklahoma, TEDC, and individual donors.

Why A Micro-Loan Program?

According to The Kaufman Foundation, a nonprofit group that studies entrepreneurship, immigrants were almost twice as likely as the native-born population to start a new business.

The 2019 State of Women-Owned Business report, commissioned by American Express, shows in almost every category that women of color are leading the women-owned business charge.

A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City recommended the “creation of better access and more diverse funding sources accessible to black women business owners."

The Goal of the Fund

Our loan program will provide funding to women to who:

  • Have poor or no credit history
  • Are seeking a loan too small for a bank to consider
  • Have no cash or other sources of equity
  • Do not want to accrue credit card debt

Community Partners Ask

YWCA Tulsa is seeking to raise $25,000 from individual gifts to fund the first cohort.

Each donation received will be matched by a generous gift from MacKenzie Scott to YWCA Tulsa. Donations are currently being accepted for the fund, and further information will be available later this year.Donate Now Button

About Carmela Hill

Carmela Hill is a longstanding fierce champion and advocate for investing in women in the Tulsa Community. Carmela has dedicated both her personal and professional life to empowering women.

“ I am humbled to be honored in this way, to have a fund named in my honor. This is my why– my inspiration. I have spent my life helping other women’s lives to be better. This is what feeds me. Serving and supporting organizations like YWCA that lift up women. As a single-mom raising kids, and as an entrepreneur, I want to see other women, succeed. I want to give them hope and resilience, I want to give them an opportunity to provide a service, or meet a need that they see in their community. We all want to live out our whys and this is mine – to see other women succeed and be able to provide for their families.” – Carmela Hill