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#GivingTuesday Giving Tuesday

5 Ways You Can Support SWFL Women and Girls on #GivingTuesday

5 Ways You Can Support SWFL Women and Girls on #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global movement that unites people and countries by celebrating our capacity to give back to our communities. Here are four ways you can Elevate Southwest Florida women and girls on this joyful day of giving!

1. Empower Her to Learn

Why didn’t Arthrex expand in Southwest Florida? Two words: trained workforce. Instead, Arthrex will make South Carolina the home of a new facility employing 1,000 people. We simply don’t have the skilled people available to fill the jobs. And that is why investing in education must become a key workforce development and retention strategy for Florida. The Woman’s Foundation of Southwest Florida’s Earn to Learn FL hopes to address this gap by helping low-to-moderate income students earn a higher education with little to no student debt. This year your donations helped over 42 students, like Yuzellie, save for their education by matching their savings of $500 at an 8:1 ratio. This means we made a grant of $4,000 for each student to leverage their $500 investment in themselves.


Yuzellie, Earn to Learn Participant

2. Empower Her to Control Her Finances

Earn to Learn program participants receive much more than funds. They receive access to Financial Literacy training to ensure they’re armed with the knowledge they need to thrive and improve their economic mobility.

3. Empower Her to Lead

The Women’s Foundation created a free online, self-paced video course for female entrepreneurs just getting their business started: Business Building Blocks (B3) for Women. This resource guides female entrepreneurs through the intimidating and sometimes confusing process of building a successful business. B3 prepares women to apply for our Kiva US Microloans of up to $10,000 with 0% interest and up to 36 months to repay. In 2017, we endorsed and helped fund seven female entrepreneurs who received over $29,000 in loans that will grow their businesses.

4. Elevate Her!

This year we granted over $60,000 to four deserving agencies serving women and girls in Southwest Florida: Grace Place for Children and Families, New Horizons, Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity, and Habitat for Humanity of Collier County. These funds will be used to support family literacy, at-risk middle school girls, and affordable housing for single mothers and their children in our community.

5. Give a Smile

Did you know your Holiday shopping can support a good cause? AmazonSmile makes giving easier than ever! When you start your shopping at, you get the same prices as the regular, but Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchases to the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida!

All you need to do is:
Go to instead of, enter “Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida” as the nonprofit organization you’d like to support, and shop as you normally would! We’ll get a check at the end of the quarter that includes the contribution from your purchase.

Need help making a donation or planning a special gift? please contact Brenda Tate at


Why NOW is the Time For You to Start Your Business in Southwest Florida -or Anywhere!

Why NOW is the Time For You to Start Your Business in Southwest Florida -or Anywhere!

Have you ever wondered if this is the time to start your own business?

Why Now? There are three great reasons why now is the best time to start a business.

  1.  Our Community Needs You! There are many women-owned businesses in Florida, but they don’t make-up enough of our economy.  What if you are somebody that can help influence the business landscape and what is going on in SWFL? You could help create jobs, solve problems, and give your family and friends more support and resources.

2. Access to Learning, Connections, Support and Even Funds is Better Than Ever.  We’re building resources to help you launch and grow your business and providing live coaching you can access for free during our weekly live sessions. Business can be a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone! We’re here to walk beside you every step of the way.

3. The World Needs YOU!-  You have a gift; something that you do, bring, serve or make that is uniquely yours. Your skills, knowledge, and uniqueness can help solve problems in your area. Don’t be discouraged by your competition or think there’s no space for you to thrive. The fact there is competition means there is a market for your services. Everything that you have is an asset, and the idea of building a business is to create a company that magnifies your assets.So as you’re thinking about whether you’re ready to start a business, think about these three things. We need you to have a voice, to find customers, create jobs and to make a difference in our economy. You have the tools available at your disposal to make your vision a reality. Remember the world needs you and what you have to offer!

Need funds to start your business? Learn more about interest-free Kiva U.S. Loans here. 


How to Get Clear on the Business You Want to Start – B3 for Women

How to Get Clear on the Business You Want to Start - B3 for Women

Today we’re going to answer the question “How do you get clear on the business you want to start?”

There are 3 strategies you can use to clarify your business ideas.

1. Know Your Why.
Why do you want a business? Give yourself four minutes and write down the answer to this question: Why do I want a business now? Stop listening to everybody else’s voices and listen to your heart and feelings because: “Emotion is what puts us into motion.”

2. Find the Problems You Like to Solve.
Think about it this way; a business is just a tool to solve people’s problems. Take four minutes to quickly write out the problems that you would like to solve. Don’t think about grammar, or about the problems that you know how to solve as too small or basic. We will explore these further in the next step.

3. Follow Your Excitement.
Look at the list of problems in the above step and pick three that you’re curious about and make you excited. If you’re not excited and not energized by solving those problems, then you’re not going to follow through. This problem will provide you with a list of problems you can solve to start your business. Take a look at these problems and ask yourself

What kind of business can I create that solves these problems and fulfills my “Why”?

Get the funds you need to start your business. Learn more about Kiva U.S. Loans here. 


Hurricane Irma Resource List

Hurricane Irma Resource List

The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida would like to extend our sincerest condolences to anyone who has lost their home or has experienced hardship due to Hurricane Irma. We understand many Southwest Florida residents are emotionally and physically exhausted from the stress of the preparations and the impact of the storm. We have compiled a list of resources for anyone who may be in need of assistance. If you are aware of any resources that you would like us to list please let us know in the comments below. We are so proud of our Southwest Florida community for coming together during this time of need. Let’s continue to help our neighbors, friends, and fellow Southwest Florida residents as we work together to rebuild our beautiful region.

Resource List

Food Assistance

Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida has been distributing food and water in several locations around Southwest Florida.  If you are in need of food or water you can follow their Facebook page for up to date distribution sites

Hurricane Relief

FEMA has designated funds available to help replace essential lost items, fix damaged homes or provide temporary housing. You can qualify for assistance even If you are currently staying in a shelter. The first step to get assistance is to register with FEMA at

For more hurricane relief assistance visit

General Questions.

For storm related information, call United Way 211 by dialing 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.


Marianela is Determined to Deliver Medical Care to Those in Need. Matched Savings for Education is Helping Her Achieve that Goal.

Marianela is Determined to Deliver Medical Care to Those in Need. Matched Savings for Education is Helping Her Achieve that Goal.

Naples Resident, and single mother of five, Marianela has a goal, to become a Physician to deliver care to underserved populations.

According to Marianela,

“Working full time, going to school and taking care of a family of five can cause financial stress. The help from the Matched Savings for Education  program takes some of the financial burden off my shoulders, especially during summer when some grants are not available.”

Marianela is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science. Her biggest challenge as a student is to remain focused on school while working full time and being a single mother of five. But her goal to deliver compassionate, non-profit driven medical care to those in need motivates her to keep going.

Marianela enjoyed participating in the Matched Savings for Education Program because:

It was nice to work towards my savings goal with people who underestood my struggles and who encouraged me to reach my  goal.  I was surprised that I enjoyed the financial literacy course requirement of the program. I  wish I had taken  a financial literacy course earlier in life.”

Impact Summary of the Matched Savings for Education Program