Individual Wealth Building


Founded in 1992, BigAustin provides entrepreneurial education, business counseling, and loans to small businesses and micro-enterprises with a focus on economically disadvantaged communities. The nonprofit serves about 1,300 small business entrepreneurs a year and has disbursed over $6.5 million in loans to thousands of individuals since its establishment.

United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta

The United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Microenterprise Individual Development Account (IDA) program aims to help people start or grow a business.  In addition to matched savings, program participants receive technical assistance, financial education, and coaching.  In Fiscal Year 2014/15, the program supported over 50 small businesses, creating nearly 65 new jobs.

Office of Refugee Resettlement IDA Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement Individual Development Account (IDA) Program provides five-year grants to public or private nonprofits to establish IDAs for low-income refugees. The program, which is authorized in Section 412(c)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, allocates nearly $3 million annually with grants of $200,000 to $400,000 awarded to ten to fifteen grantees. Read more about Office of Refugee Resettlement IDA Program ...

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides a rebate to low-income workers based on a percentage of their income. Unlike most tax credits, the EITC is refundable. If a person chooses to apply the EITC when filing taxes, a rebate is issued if the credit exceeds the taxpayer's liability. Read more about Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)...

Community Reinvestment Act

Enacted in 1977 in response to redlining — that is, banks that drew a "red line" on maps around disfavored (usually minority) neighborhoods and refused to do business within those areas — the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) enabled bank regulators to assess and rate banks' lending and investment activities in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Read more about Community Reinvestment Act ...

Assets for Independence Act

The Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) is a grant program sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families program in its Office of Community Services. AFIA makes five-year grants to community-based nonprofits, government agencies, and various other eligible organizations, for the purpose of helping low-income families build assets through savings accounts and gain financial management skills. Read more about Assets for Independence Act ...

Federal Asset-Building Programs Continue to Favor Wealthy

Missed opportunity to help less well-off Americans build wealth

Copyright New American
Foundation 2012

In its Assets Report 2012, the New America Foundation calculates that more than half a trillion dollars is allocated in the U.S. FY 2013 federal budget through direct spending programs and tax provisions to encourage savings and asset-building. Of that sum, only a small fraction helps those who need it the most, low- and moderate-income Americans.

As Reid Cramer, Rachel Black, and Justin King at the New America Foundation note, this is a lost opportunity:

This approach misses the potential of assets to help chart a path out of poverty. If we are to broaden savings and asset ownership successfully—giving everyone a stake in the common-wealth—we must understand how the federal government’s current policy paradigm affects asset building among low- and moderate-income Americans.

Read more about Federal Asset-Building Programs Continue to Favor Wealthy...