HAP Receives $1.25 Million from the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to Support Refugee Microenterprise Small Businesses
September 13, 2017
CONTACT: Mai Moua, Ph.D. Chief Operating Officer
St. Paul, Minnesota – Hmong American Partnership (HAP) has been awarded a five-year grant of $1.25 million from the United States Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to serve 100 refugee business owners to start up, maintain, and expand their businesses to build a vibrant economic community and entrepreneurship climate in the Twin Cities.
HAP’s Refugee Asset Microenterprise Program (RAMP) will provide comprehensive, coordinated, and culturally-specific microenterprise business development services to refugees in the seven-county metro area to create 150 new, permanent full-time positions and 50 new, part-time positions, providing low-income immigrant and refugees with a stepping-stone towards career and business entrepreneurship development.
“Refugee entrepreneurs face many difficulties in achieving economic self-sufficiency and prosperity. They face language and cultural barriers which limits their ability to start, maintain, or expand their businesses. RAMP services provide small business loans and pre-and post-loan technical assistance and financial literacy to help build wealth in the community,” stated Bao Vang, President and CEO of HAP. “Those we serve are eager to become a part of the Twin Cities’ business community and are excited to contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of our state.”
The RAMP program has been in existence since 2013, and over that time has supported the start-up or expansion of over 50 plus micro businesses, creating over 170 positions which provide the means for those living in the highest poverty communities to move towards economic well-being and prosperity.
HAP is a community development organization whose mission is: to empower the community to embrace the strengths of our culture while achieving our potential. HAP provides critical services and support to more than 15,000 community members annually. For more information about HAP and its programs, please visit http://www.hmong.org