NEW YORK, NY — Sanctuary for Families, a leading local provider of services for domestic abuse survivors and their families, is launching VETI, the Verizon Entrepreneurship Training Initiative. This program provides select Sanctuary clients with entrepreneurial workshops and computer training to help budding entrepreneurs prepare to launch and operate a small business. The program kicks off this Friday, May 4, 2012.
The program is funded by a $100,000 grant from Verizon, one of five such grants awarded to workforce development and domestic violence agencies across the state this year to teach small business skills to encourage the creation or expansion of small and home-based businesses by entrepreneurial domestic abuse survivors to help them break the cycle of violence through financial independence.
“The VETI initiative offers empowerment through hands-on training, helping provide the basis for a secure future,” said John Wyeth, Jr.Assistant Director of Development for Institutional Giving, Sanctuary for Families. “We are excited to be part of a program that offers so much to our deserving clients.”
Clients participating in the program have submitted ideas for businesses ranging from catering to event planning, photography, e-commerce and hair salon management.
Program participants are asked to present a viable business idea, attend an orientation session and submit a one page application. If chosen, they must complete Phase I and Phase II of the VETI Curriculum. Phase I includes three daytime sessions covering business basics covering taxes, regulations, marketing and communications, and e-commerce. Phase II offers an intensive Microsoft Outlook immersion class over four evening sessions. There is an optional small business technology training course for participants whose business ideas are technology-based.
Program admission will take place on a rolling basis, as clients are ready, with services provided on an individual and cohort basis. Services will include everything from orientation through counseling and training, to business plan development. Several course areas will focus on credit, money, and financial instruments – key issues for any entrepreneur but also helpful for individuals trying to rebuild their credit standing in the community – and on public speaking and time management. At the conclusion of the training period, individuals will create a business plan and be eligible to apply for a Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant, up to $5,000, to receive start-up funding to help launch their new business.
In addition to Sanctuary for Families, four other workforce development organizations across New York State will be receiving $100,000 each from Verizon. The organizations, in partnership with local domestic violence advocacy agencies, are developing programs to educate and mentor survivors to develop a viable business plan for their venture.
The following organizations will receive grants:
• Albany – Hudson Valley Community College Workforce Development Institute and Equinox, Inc.
• Buffalo – Everywoman Opportunity Center and the Family Justice Center of Erie County
• Rochester – Monroe Community College Workforce Development Office and Alternatives for Battered Women
• Syracuse – WISE Women’s Business Center and Southside Innovation Center with Vera House
“Helping women become financially independent and take control of their economic futures is a key goal of this program,” said Pat Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless, New York Metro Region. “We’re excited to give survivors across the state the opportunity to write their own success stories as they pursue their entrepreneurial dream and become self-sufficient and financially stable.”
Verizon Wireless is committed to preventing and raising awareness about domestic violence through its community efforts. Through HopeLine, Verizon Wireless collects used cell phones to be recycled or sold and donates the proceeds in the form of cash grants and pre-paid wireless phones to advocacy groups for use by survivors. Verizon was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and has done so on behalf of survivors of domestic violence since January 1999 – first in New York and then across the U.S. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 10 million phones, properly disposed of 1.7 million no-longer-used wireless phones, and kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
For more information on the Verizon HopeLine program, check out www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 93.0 million retail customers, including 88.0 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Sanctuary for Families
Sanctuary for Families provides domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children with a range of comprehensive services. Annually, Sanctuary reaches over 10,000 domestic violence survivors and their children through direct services alone. Our education and awareness-building initiatives connect with over 20,000 additional concerned community members each year, including local leaders, social service and legal professionals, law enforcement officials, potential victims, and many others. Sanctuary has nearly 150 full-time and part-time staff working out of nine office and shelter locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Through active recruitment of bilingual and bicultural staff, Sanctuary is able to offer services to clients in over 30 languages; more languages are represented by our hundreds of pro bono attorneys and volunteers.