Building Community with Fund17 by Haley Burns

by Jessica on May 5, 2014

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This Tuesday at 7:30pm Balance Yoga & Wellness will be hosting a Candlelight Yoga Fundraiser benefitting a new and growing non-profit, Fund 17. As the founder of Fund 17, I am excited that other community organizations are interested in supporting our work. Fund 17 strives to fight opportunity inequality by providing financial tools for self-empowerment to micro-entrepreneurs in all seventeen wards of New Orleans. That wordy mission statement can be a little confusing, but what we strive to do is actually pretty simple. We partner with businesses earning low revenue and administer affordable micro-loans and goal-based business development plans. Microenterprise is generally not served by traditional financial institutions like banks, and that effects the growth of the local people-driven economy here in New Orleans. At Fund 17, we hope to fill that gap and support the expansion of a lively, local entrepreneurial community.

As a student-led organization, we have to fight the stigmas that work against us within New Orleans. The Fund 17 team wants to prove that students are just as much a part of this community as anyone else-and that we can create sustainable impact here as well.

Gaining support from community partners like Balance shows that our student-led mission is welcomed in the city. On the Balance website, I found the statement, “BALANCE is inclusive; it embraces all traditions and looks for unity in diversity.” The atmosphere Balance Yoga seeks to create is one that aligns with Fund 17’s vision. With this city’s various neighborhoods, growing young population, and unique and diverse heritage, Fund 17 hopes to create opportunity for all the hard-working individuals that makes this place so special. We seek to use financial services as a way to create unity between the Tulane and greater New Orleans community.

When you come to practice yoga at Balance, you become a part of the community they create. When you come to yoga this Tuesday, you will use that community as a way to support the work of Fund 17. Come join us as we strive to create opportunity and unity throughout the seventeen wards.

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