Travelers, Accion and the Women's Business Development Center Launch Small Business Risk Education Program

Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:32pm EDT

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Travelers, Accion and the Women's Business Development Center Launch Small Business Risk Education Program

Chicago Women and Minority Entrepreneurs Who Receive Training May Qualify for Microloans from Accion

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), one of the nation’s largest insurers of small businesses, today launched its Small Business Risk Education (SBRE) program in Chicago to help women and minority small business owners learn about risk management, develop safety risk management plans, and qualify for microloans. According to the Small Business Administration, 47 percent of all jobs in Chicago are created by small companies.

Through partnerships with the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), one of the nation’s largest women’s business centers focused on creating jobs and fueling economic growth through business ownership, and Accion, a global nonprofit organization that supports microfinance institutions to provide financial services to low-income clients, Travelers is offering:

  • Increased awareness of the most common safety risks faced by small business owners; and
  • Training and education focused on risk management and business continuity planning.

Participants in the program will receive one-on-one assistance from Travelers and WBDC business experts to complete a risk management plan. In addition, participating businesses may be eligible to apply for microloans through Accion to support capital investments related to risk management, sustainability and growth.

SBRE is part of Travelers’ broader commitment to small business advocacy and economic opportunity. In 2012, Travelers piloted the SBRE program in Los Angeles in partnership with the Valley Economic Development Center, California’s largest microfinancing organization. Earlier this week, the Travelers Institute, the public policy division of Travelers, took its “Small Business – Big Opportunity” tour to Boston to discuss small business challenges and highlight solutions with leading economic and small business thought leaders.

Travelers plans to expand the SBRE program to additional markets in 2014.

About Travelers
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and generated revenues of $25.7 billion in 2012. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.

About the Women’s Business Development Center
A nationally and internationally recognized women’s business assistance center in its 27th year of operation, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to start-up, emerging and established entrepreneurs including counseling and workshops relating to access to capital, certification and procurement in Spanish and English. The mission of the WBDC is to provide services and programs that support and accelerate women’s business ownership and strengthen the impact of women on the economy. The WBDC is headquartered at 8 S. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60603. To learn more, visit www.WBDC.org.

About Accion Chicago
Accion Chicago is a member of the Accion U.S. Network, the largest micro- and small business-lending network in the United States. The network’s five members have collectively made more than 45,000 loans totaling more than $350 million. Globally, Accion is a pioneer in microfinance, reaching millions of individuals through its international network of partners. Accion has been serving the City of Chicago’s small businesses since 1994, and has lent $24 million in loans to more than 3,000 businesses in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. For more information visit www.accionchicago.org.

The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Ashley Maagero, 860-277-2954
amaagero@travelers.com

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