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Faces of Funding: Nelson Angel Women's Loan Fund

The Nelson Angel Women’s Loan Fund defines success as supporting women to reach their dreams.

NAWLF is a community-led organisation which enables women in the Nelson region to overcome barriers to employment, education and business opportunities by providing small interest-free loans between $250 and $1500. Their Wahine Pūtea (women’s fund) is managed by women for women.

Loan applications come from women looking to start up a business, take part in a course or training, or get back into the workforce.

Access to new business opportunities or training contributes to increase confidence and self-esteem for the women, alongside enabling them to support their families and communities, and has a positive impact on their wellbeing.

NAWLF Trustee Tricia Stuart says their mission is to be a part of the support system surrounding women which empowers them to keep striving to attain their dream.

Tricia says collaborating with organisations such as Nelson Women's Centre, Barbican Training Centre and Nelson Tasman Business Trust allows NAWLF to better connect and respond to the needs of women looking to upskill or seek employment.

The organisation also works closely Multicultural Nelson Tasman (MNT), supporting migrant women who are new to the country to find education and employment opportunities.

From a woman who started her own gardening business, to another who turned a market stall into a successful retail store – NAWLF have helped many women realise and fulfill their potential.

Tricia says while the organisation has helped a number of women find their feet through education or in the business world, there have been a few whose ventures were unsuccessful, such as businesses which did not take off or educational opportunities which did not result in employment.

However, true success lies in the sense of confidence gained through the experience, says Tricia.

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, NAWLF adapted their services by continuing to support clients via online platforms.

Tricia says NAWLF is expecting an increase in demand for their services in a post-COVID-19 environment, with a number of women out of work.

She says NAWLF wants to support women to retrain and up-skill to find meaningful employment or follow their passion.

Rātā Foundation provides funding to the Nelson Angel Women’s Loan Fund under the Learn focus area, enabling people to have opportunities to learn throughout their lives and recognising learning as a pathway for them to reach their potential.

Find out more about the Nelson Angel Women’s Loan Fund here: