MARCH 23, 2013
WINNER: RESOURCE FUND
We want to provide low-income community members with a tool kit of financial skills that they can use to take the first step out of poverty. Resource Funds mission is to serve low-income communities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area with equitable financial services. We offer a Financial Coaching Program that is a yearlong, one-on-one relationship between a student an a client. It is based off a proven, open-source curriculum with quality coaching that is a fee-for-service, meaning the fee acts as a building loan. This program effectively incentivizes the client to commit to issues discussed in coaching while also building the client's Credit Score.
WHY DOES THIS PROJECT MATTER TO THE ANN ARBOR COMMUNITY?
This funding will play a crucial role in making the financial coaching program a reality. It will give us the capital necessary to make our unique offer of a credit-building, fee-for-service a viable possibility to build the client's credit. Furthermore, it will enable us to build a solid framework, from which we can then take the next steps to legitimize our organization. We will use the foundation laid by our financial coaching program to apply for 501 (c)3 status, which will enable us to get funding from grant makers.
WHAT IS THE TIME FRAME FOR YOUR PROJECT AND HOW COULD YOU SHARE IT'S PROGRESS/COMPLETION AT AN UPCOMING SOUP?
We have done the necessary market research and customer discovery to start serving clients. We are in the process of building up end-end systems to collect payments and report credit. With an open-ended proved curriculum and other resources, we are currently training a team of financial coaches. We will be ready to start serving clients by early april.
HOW WILL YOU USE SOUP FUNDS TOWARDS THE REALIZATION OF YOUR PROJECT?
10.8% of the residents in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti community are unbanked and 21.2% of residents are under-banked, meaning that they are prey to predatory lending services. These statistics emphasize the clear barriers to financial education in the area. Currently, residents lack the necessary skills to use and benefit from mainstream financing. This forces them into a vicious cycle of debt and bad credit, thus limiting their access to crucial resources. We hope to provide women and other community members in the area with financial education and the ability to create a pathway out of poverty.
Click here to learn more about ReSource Fund.