BENEFITING: LIFTED FOUNDATION
I am a former Peace Corps volunteer with a passion for women empowerment. I believe women and girls deserve the same equality in education, jobs and entrepreneurship. That is why I am volunteering with Lifted Foundation, a Los Angeles based non-profit to raise capital for their "Empowering Women through Small Business Grants" in Philippines. Lifted is supporting local women through small business grants. These grants allow them to start or further develop their existing business. Women who are looking to apply for the grant are fully vetted — they are required to submit an application that details expected annual overhead and cost of goods, along with business experience (if any), family makeup, resource planning considerations, and more. The purpose of the application process is to ensure that Lifted is providing financial assistance to the most qualified candidate. Below are two common business types that are run by women in the community: SARI-SARI STORE: Sari-Sari stores serve as an important economic and social location in the community. Sari-Sari stores are an integral part of Philippine culture, located in every neighborhood (often times inside the owner’s house), and provide essential household goods. Sari-Sari means “variety” – and you get exactly that. From toiletries to food, Sari-Sari stores provide members of the community easy access to basic commodities. There are approximately 1 million Sari-Sari stores in the Philippines, generally run by micro-entrepreneurs who save up years of income to be able to afford initial inventory cost. Your donation will go towards the initial start-up cost or add-on capital for inventory. Our goal is to fund Sari-Sari stores for 10 families. FOOD STALLS: Street food could be found in almost every street corner in the Philippines. Micro-entrepreneurs, mostly women, sell affordable and homemade snacks for passersby. Street food is a vital part of the Filipino lifestyle and a great opportunity for small business owners to earn revenue. From chicken skewers and fruit to homemade drinks and the infamous balut (Google it!), these snacks are a common alternative to the pricey food you would purchase from McDonalds or other western fast food chains. Your donation will go towards the initial start-up cost or add-on capital for food stall vendors. Our goal is to fund 20 food vendors.