For the second year in a row, the Citi Foundation is funding summer interns to work with 20 organizations across the country that help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Known as the "Citi Microenterprise Researchers Program," the interns will help collect data on clients, while also learning about the microenterprise development field, which supports budding entrepreneurs by providing capital and/or training.
Each organization will recruit and hire a graduate student for the internship, which will pay a $7,000 stipend.
As part of the $280,000 program, Citi Foundation also is funding FIELD, the microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination, a research group housed at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., to manage the project and train the interns in data collection methods.
Microenterprises are defined as very small businesses capitalized with $35,000 or less and employing five or fewer people. Currently, there are approximately 500 organizations nationwide engaged in the microenterprise field.
The internship program was designed to help these organizations collect extensive data on their clients that can be used to improve or identify gaps in services, fund-raise or advocate for entrepreneurship. The internships also are a way to introduce college students to the microenterprise field and help create the next generation of industry leaders.
FIELD selected the 20 organizations through a competitive application process. The organizations and their locations are:
ACCION New York, New York, N.Y.
ACCION San Diego, San Diego, Calif.
ACCION USA, Boston, Mass.
(Business Investment Growth) BiGAUSTIN, Austin, Texas
Community First Fund, Lancaster, Penn.
Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation, St. Louis, Mo.
Latino Economic Development Corporation, Washington, D.C.
Lenders for Community Development, San Jose, Calif.
Mercy Corps Northwest, Portland, Ore.
Micro Business Development Corporation, Denver, Colo.
Mountain BizWorks, Asheville, N.C.
Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund, Oakland, Neb.
Philadelphia Development Partnership, Philadelphia, Pa.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, San Francisco, Calif.
Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund, Salt Lake City, Utah
Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH), Seattle, Wash.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis.
Women’s Economic Ventures, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Women’s Initiative, San Francisco, Calif.
Women’s Opportunities Resource Center, Philadelphia, Pa.