WWBIC announces awards at Daddy’s Soul Food Grille in Milwaukee
The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. hosted the Diverse Community Capital Award announcement Friday at Daddy’s Soul Food Grille at 754 N. 27 th St. in Milwaukee on the first floor of the 100-year-old SOHI Building. WWBIC was awarded a $400,000 grant from Wells Fargo’s Works for Small Business program, a $600,000 equity equivalent investment in WWBIC’s Revolving Loan Fund and a $150,000 match from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. In addition to lending capital and grant support, the program’s new funding aids in providing financial assistance to small, diverse businesses including mentorship programs, knowledge-sharing networks, consulting and other collaborative efforts. “Our on-the-ground team is committed to supporting diverse communities and providing access to fair capital to further enhance growth,” said Wendy Baumann, WWBIC president and chief visionary officer. Minority-owned Daddy’s Soul Food Grille owner and head chef Bennie Smith is a client of WWBIC. The soul food restaurant specializes in original, homemade recipes such as the popular chicken and waffles and Mama Angie’s sweet tea. “The menu category titles are named after my children and their favorite dishes,” Smith said, adding that his business has been a success since it’s opening in November 2015. The event included comments from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as well as from Darlene Russell, senior program officer of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Rana Altenburg, vice president of public affairs at Marquette University and Sang Kim, region president for Wells Fargo. WWBIC has loaned more than $46 million to nearly 4,000 business borrowers, helped entrepreneurs create and retain about 9,000 jobs and has assisted 55,317 clients in it’s nearly 30 years of operation. The program’s efforts are dedicated to women, minority and lower-income individuals.