The mission of the Women's Opportunities Resource Center (WORC) is to promote social and economic self-sufficiency primarily for economically disadvantaged women and their families. WORC provides training, individual business assistance, incentive savings program, job placement, and access to buisness and financial resources. WORC empowers its constituents through various self-help strategies including savings, a self-employment network, and access to its local and national affiliations. Additionally, WORC encourages community awareness and responsiveness concerning issues impacting economic equity and independence.
Values and Philosophies
- Help low income individuals break out of cycles of dependency
- Be a catalyst for positive, lasting changes in people's lives
- Empower people with basic life skills
- Build personal capacity
- Involve participants in self-assessment and goal-setting
- Encourage peer support
- Build on experience and success
- Encourage personal asset accumulation
- Focus on economic development strategies
- Emphasize the importance of personal financial management
- Maintain a leadership role on a national and regional level
Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF)
The Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF) was created in 1999 in response to the increasingly unmet demand for start-up capital experienced by graduates of entrepreneurship training programs provided by our parent, Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (WORC). EOF is a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) through the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Our mission is to provide access to capital for low-income and underserved populations in the Philadelphia metropolitan area with a specific emphasis on serving women and minorities who lack access to capital and credit. Our philosophy is to provide our “micro-entrepreneurs” with step-loans as small as $500 up to $35,000. This allows borrowers to finance individual parts of their business. As a borrower demonstrates she is able to handle a loan, she can apply for additional loans and/or lines of credit. This permits our borrowers to assume debt levels appropriate to their business size and capacity and minimize the risks for the fund or guarantor.
EOF offers support services to ensure that our borrowers continue to be successful in their business efforts and fulfill their loan commitments. We offer services ranging from post-loan technical assistance to free annual Tax Credit Preparation. We also leverage WORC’s programs and services, reputation, marketing and outreach expertise; enabling our customers to take advantage of the comprehensive array of business development services WORC provides. In addition, we partner with other community organizations, small business development centers, area lenders and government agencies to ensure that we are providing our clients every possible opportunity for success.
Our niche products are making a difference. To date EOF has made over 350 micro loans, small business loans and near equity loans totaling over $1.2 million and has created and retained several hundred jobs.
If you are interested in learning more about our products and services or how you can help, please visit our Small Business Lending section of the website or contact us at 215-564-5500.