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IRC Atlanta launches new Microenterprise Development program

The IRC in Atlanta is proud to announce the launch of our new Microenterprise Development (MED) program to assist refugees looking to start or expand their own small-businesses. The MED program will provide training and technical assistance, financial capability training, and lending services including business start-up loans and credit-building loans, for refugee-owned businesses such as food artisans, transportation service providers, wholesale retailers, and auto-repair mechanics.

Microenterprise Development Coordinator, Tarangini Saxena, with some of her first clients.
Microenterprise Development Coordinator, Tarangini Saxena, with some of her first clients. Photo: Marmed Hussein

The IRC welcomed Tarangini Saxena as our new Microenterprise Development Coordinator in January 2018, and she brings with her a breadth of experience working with refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs both in the U.S. and overseas, with a particular focus on agricultural business development and practice. 

The MED program is a critical addition to the IRC in Atlanta’s Economic Empowerment department, and will ensure refugees can achieve a greater level of financial security and economic self-sufficiency. The IRC is now able to offer business loans up to $15,000, as well as smaller credit-building loans up to $300 to help our clients establish credit and strengthen their businesses. 

A start-up business is often successful because of the community support it receives. If you are an experienced small-business owner or have experience in the professions listed below, please consider mentoring a refugee-owned business. We deeply appreciate your support and look forward to working with you to develop a robust local economy.

Ideally, professional volunteers will help as needed, depending on the needs of each refugee-owned business. Professional volunteers needed are:

Volunteer Lawyers to review:

  • partnership agreements
  • service assurance agreements
  • property leases
  • contracts

Volunteer Accountants to guide:

  • small business tax filing

Commercial Realtors to help locate and review:

  • business appropriate real estate
  • property leases

Volunteer Web Developers/Graphic Designers to design:

  • basic business websites
  • business logos

Business mentors would be paired with refugee business owners to provide guidance in their shared field.  We are seeking business owners experienced in:

  • Local food businesses (catering, food trucks, bakery, prepared food vending, restaurants)
  • Transportation (inter-state freight trucking, taxi operators)
  • Import/export
  • Auto-body and auto-repair
  • Retail (grocery, clothing, etc.)

If you are interested in becoming a business mentor or professional volunteer, or to find out more about the MED program, please contact Microenterprise Development Coordinator, Tarangini Saxena, at Tarangini.Saxena [at] Rescue.org

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.

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