Tory Burch's strengths go far beyond her meticulous eye for design. To combat the rising number of women living below the poverty line and the poor treatment they receive from financial institutions, she launched the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009. The mission statement is simple: "The Tory Burch Foundation provides economic opportunities to women and their families in the United States." And that's exactly what she does—provides opportunities. Rather than start a charity, Burch wanted a program that would encourage women to become autonomous through business. She wanted to enable women with the confidence to support themselves and their families, rather than have to depend on someone else.
To do this, partnered with ACCION USA, the nation’s largest microfinance provider. According to the Tory Burch Foundation, "Small businesses provide more than half the jobs, and seventy-five percent of the net new jobs in the U.S., yet 82 percent have difficulty accessing the capital they need. Entry-level small business loans at retail banks start at $100,000 yet the average microloan needed is $10,000." Together, the Tory Burch Foundation and ACCION USA are increasing the number of loans available to women entrepreneurs.
And we can all do our own part to help this amazing cause. Burch has launched a special line of products benefiting the Tory Burch Foundation. The products, ranging from T-shirts to totebags to flip-flops, all bear the Tory Burch Foundation logo—the sunflower. The sunflower is Tory’s favorite bloom and symbolizes a pendant her father once gave her mother as a gift (which she wears today). The sunflower is represented in all of the products that benefit the foundation and represents the bright future that the Tory Burch Foundation hopes to make possible for its benefactors.
Tory has also released the second limited edition Tory Burch Foundation compilation cd, an eclectic selection of music that Burch handpicked herself. The CD includes Citizen Cope with Carlos Santana, Kanye West, K’naan, Michael Franti, Neville Brothers, Santigold, The Smiths and Wyclef Jean and the proceeds go to benefit the Foundation directly.
Article and Photo Source: The Tory Burch Foundation