SBA STL District Awards Justine PETERSEN “Microlender of the Year for 2019″
For as long as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) St. Louis District Office has awarded a “Microlender of the Year Award,” Justine PETERSEN has graciously accepted the honor – year after year. Having closed thousands of SBA small business microloans in the district over the last 20 years, Justine PETERSEN has deployed millions of SBA dollars to small businesses in need. The majority of these loans have assisted minority entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.
Justine PETERSEN is indebted to SBA STL District Director Maureen Brinkley, who nurtured this program with JP over 20 years ago, and is still serving the SBA and the St. Louis small business community. Thank YOU Maureen Brinkley, and thanks to your amazing staff
ASPIRE Entrepreneurship Initiative Graduates Final St. Louis Cohort
It’s that time of year for graduations! This week Justine PETERSEN graduated 22 “aspiring entrepreneurs” as the culmination of our 14-week “Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative.” Commonly referred to as the truncated “Aspire,” the program targets returning citizens with children under the age 8 who express a desire and interest in pursuing self-employment as a career path. The program offers a multi-week entrepreneurship curriculum known as “Ice House,” which provides participants with an array of readiness skill preparation and opportunities to put into practice.
Launched in December of 2016, Justine PETERSEN was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to pilot the initiative in three metro markets: St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago. The St. Louis-based program alone served over 100 participants, providing in addition to entrepreneurial training, access to credit building products and services and a true small business microloan to advance the participants’ entrepreneurial trajectory. The final Chicago cohort graduates in late May, and the final Detroit cohort commences in June and graduates in September. Justine PETERSEN is excited to explore “Aspire 2.0” in the future, as we tweak and enhance the program’s many facets.
Tori Gonzalez Represents JP at Annual Impact Investing Symposium at Washington University
Tori Gonzalez has been omnipresent in the local social impact investing ecosystem as of late. Assisting Justine PETERSEN with capitalizing our Emerging Markets Loan Fund, Tori has threaded together various local stakeholders in exploring the future of impact investing in St. Louis. Most recently, Tori participated on a panel at the annual Impact Investing Symposium at Washington University titled “Measuring and Reporting Investment Activities: From Global Investment to Local Disinvestment.” Panelists, which included Mike Eggleston of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, specifically deep-dived into the work of local CDFIs (community development financial institutions), which included mention of JP’s local impact. Professor Heather Cameron of the Brown School of Social Work moderated the panel; Professor Cameron also sits on the advisory board for the St. Louis CDFI Coalition, as does Mike Eggleston.
Justine M. Petersen: Mother of St. Louis Financial Asset-Building
Justine M. Petersen, our namesake, was a mother to both her children – and a movement. Justine was a pioneer in spearheading avant-garde financial asset-building products and services for the St. Louis marketplace, advocating – as mothers do – for those in need of assistance. We at Justine PETERSEN wish all mothers a very blessed Happy Mother’s Day!