03 Jan 2018

The Wimauma Common Good Initiative Awards $500,000 to Enterprising Latinas


Wimauma, FL – Allegany Franciscan Ministries, through the Common Good Initiative, is investing in Wimauma by providing two grants totaling $500,000 to Enterprising Latinas, Inc. (ELI). A one-year, $250,000 grant will help to create an economic development infrastructure for the community, building ELI’s capacity and adding staff to bring together public and private partners involved in workforce and economic development.

The second grant of $250,000 has allowed ELI to purchase a building to serve as a Community Resources Hub; a central location for education and training resources, tools and services that will support the healthy growth and development of families and community, accessible to all residents of Wimauma. “The creation of the Wimauma Opportunity Center as hub for community resources and the expansion of workforce and entrepreneurship initiatives that prepare residents for employment and self-employment opportunities is key to creating a community where all residents can live a healthy and prosperous life. We are excited to be a vehicle for community change through this partnership with Allegany Franciscan Ministries.” Liz Gutierrez, Enterprising Latinas, Founder & CEO.

ELI secured a loan from Raza Development Fund (RDF) for the balance of the funds needed to purchase the building, formerly Rachel’s Country Kitchen, on State Road 674, a main thoroughfare into Wimauma. The building will be converted into a safe, welcoming, central hub for ELI’s programs as well as providing space for other public and private partners to offer services for the Wimauma community, and for the community to gather. “RDF is delighted to have provided funding for the Wimauma Opportunity Center, in collaboration with Allegany Franciscan Ministries and introduced to us by Enterprising Latinas. We noted that, no sooner had the documents been executed and the keys turned over to Enterprising Latinas, the community gathered in the Center to celebrate. We are also excited about being involved in the ‘Common Good Initiative” of Allegany Franciscan Ministries, in which the $500,000 in grants is a part.” Brian Champeau, Raza Development Fund, East Coast Director.

“Now that the people of Wimauma will have a place to gather, dream, plan, and to organize action within the community,” said Sr. Jeanne Williams, Council for the Common Good member, “It is our hope that transformation will continue to happen, expanding opportunities and meeting the needs of the people of Wimauma.”

About Enterprising Latinas, Inc. (ELI)

Founded in 2009, Enterprising Latinas, Inc. (ELI) is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(C) 3 organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of low-income Hispanic women in Tampa Bay. While ELI works with all women, regardless of race or ethnicity, it targets Latinas because of the wide gap in wages and wealth among this target group. Overall ELI seeks to improve the well-being of individual families by creating networks of mutual support that enable low-income women to pursue their personal and economic goals, by teaching new skills and offering new tools that lead to entrepreneurial careers and workforce opportunities and advocating for innovative service and public policy solutions that promote economic security and social equality. www.Enterprisinglatinas.org.


About Raza Development Fund

Raza Development Fund (RDF) is a non-profit corporation and a registered Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) under the United States Department of the Treasury. Established in 1999 as a support corporation, RDF provides UnidosUS affiliates and other Latino-serving organizations access to capital. As the largest Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), with more than $350 million in total assets under management, RDF has provided capital to Latino serving organizations nationwide. These organizations have received technical assistance and loans, which have helped leverage nearly $3 billion in private capital for education, affordable housing and healthcare projects serving low-income families and individuals. www.RazaFund.org.


About Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Inc. and the Common Good Initiative

Allegany Franciscan Ministries is a Catholic organization rooted in the tradition and vision of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, providing grants and working with community partners in three regions of Florida formerly served by the Sisters’ hospitals: Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties, and the Tampa Bay area of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Since awarding its first grant in 1998, Allegany Franciscan Ministries has invested almost $81 million to more than 1400 organizations serving those most in need in these communities. Through its Common Good Initiative, launched in 2014, Allegany staff and volunteers work collaboratively with community residents and partners to create healthier, safer, and more prosperous places where the most vulnerable residents can live, learn, work and play. A part of Trinity Health, its mission is to serve together in the spirit of the Gospel as a compassionate and transforming healing presence within communities served. For more information, please visit Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ website at www.afmfl.org.


For more information:

Enterprising Latinas, Inc.
Liz Gutierrez, CEO
Liz.Gutierrez@Enterprisinglatinas.org 813.325.8073

Allegany Franciscan Ministries
Cheri Wright-Jones

Raza Development Fund
Peter McDougal