Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. will put Charter Communication’s $1 million investment towards low-interest loans.

WWBIC is an economic development corporation focusing on women, people of color, veterans and low-income individuals. It provides direct lending and access to fair and responsible capital, quality business education, one-on-one technical business assistance and education to increase financial capacity. WWBIC’s average loan size is between $35,000 and $39,000.

“That money is very important to WWBIC because we need to have either equity — actual grants to us that we can re-lend — or low-interest payment borrowed capital like this,” Wendy Baumann, president of WWBIC, told WisBusiness.com. “And why we specifically are pleased with the Charter Communications and the Spectrum Loan Fund is that it’s a little bit different money for us.”

In its 33-year existence, WWBIC has lent over $77 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $24 million and over 570 active borrowers. The corporation has borrowed capital and received grants from financial institutions, the federal government, local governments, faith-based organizations and accredited investors.

“We don’t have as many national corporate investors,” Baumann said. “We really like to have not just a lot of eggs in one basket — we like to have a lot of different baskets with a lot of different eggs. And to us, this Charter investment, a national footprint and a corporate, private investor, is one of our first in that basket.”

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