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.
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
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)
- 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.