NOW Corp Makes $100M Available for WBENC-Certified Small Business Suppliers

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NOWaccount® Revenue Accelerator Program helps close gender gap by providing WBEs access to the capital they need to take advantage of increased corporate and government spending

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The Coca-Cola Company has set an aggressive goal to increase our direct spend with women- and minority-owned businesses to $1 billion by 2020.

As large corporate and government customers strive to increase spending with women-owned businesses, NOW Corp is pleased to announce it is working with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), as well as a number of FORTUNE 500 and government entities, to provide WBE suppliers with access to up to $100 million in capital through the NOWaccount Revenue Accelerator Program. The NOWaccount program offers individual WBEs up to $1 million each, enabling them to take advantage of these significant growth opportunities with their corporate and government customers.

The announcement is significant as women-owned businesses continue to lag well behind when it comes to accessing capital. In fact, while women own nearly one third of all small businesses, they receive less than 5 percent of the total small business loan dollars and only 7 percent of venture capital, according to a recent report by the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee.

“As the owner of a small manufacturing company, I experienced first-hand the challenge of trying to grow my business with limited capital,” explained Lara Hodgson, co-founder, president and CEO of NOW Corp. “My customers were placing larger and larger orders, but they also took longer and longer to pay.

“It was that experience that led us to create NOWaccount,” she explained. “We wanted to put capital – and control – back into the hands of small business owners to enable them to grow as quickly as they want, without having to take on unnecessary debt or sign personal guarantees.”

With the NOWaccount Revenue Accelerator Program, NOW Corp has introduced an innovative new small business finance solution that allows a supplier to choose to Get Paid NOW®, similar to accepting a credit card for payment, while continuing to offer their commercial and government customers the free and flexible payment terms they require. By accelerating their revenue, the small supplier can not only fund the next sale, but also strengthen their balance sheet, making them a better candidate for additional sources of capital, such as loans and lines of credit. Costing the same or less than accepting a credit card for payment, the NOWaccount program affords the small supplier the flexibility to use it how and when it makes sense for their business, enabling them to say “Yes” to new sales opportunities.

“With more than 300 corporate and government members and 12,000+ certified WBEs, WBENC has a great vantage point into the tremendous growth opportunities that exist for women-owned businesses today,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of WBENC, the nation's leader in women's business development. “The NOWaccount Revenue Accelerator Program not only helps our WBEs access the capital they need to fund new and larger contracts, but it also provides our corporate and government members with the confidence that comes with a strong and stable supply chain.

“We are especially proud that this innovative, game-changer for small business was developed by one of our own WBEs,” she continued.

“The Coca-Cola Company has set an aggressive goal to increase our direct spend with women- and minority-owned businesses to $1 billion by 2020,” said Terrez M. Thompson, vice president, Global Supplier Diversity for The Coca-Cola Company, which was recently named among America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises for the eighth consecutive year by WBENC. “To help meet that goal, we continue to develop programs and identify resources, such as the NOWaccount Revenue Accelerator Program, to ensure our MWBEs are prepared to successfully grow with us.”

According to Roz Lewis, president and CEO of the Greater Women’s Business Council, a WBENC Regional Partner Organization representing Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, “The women businesses in our organization are interested in access to capital and procurement opportunities. So it’s no surprise that with many of the nation’s most notable brands, such as The Coca-Cola Company, as our corporate member-partners, and innovative WBE members such as NOW Corp, our region represents the fastest growing number of women-owned businesses in the country.”

“Since signing up for the NOWaccount program in February, I’ve been able to triple the size of my government contract,” said Sheila Jordan, CEO of Knowledge Architects, which is preparing to launch a new product offering this fall. “We never could have done that without NOWaccount. It’s a lifesaver!”

Morgan Consultants, Inc., founded 18 years ago by Owner and Principal Traci Morgan, provides comprehensive engineering, operations and product management services to many of the world’s most respected manufacturing companies, including Clorox, The Coca-Cola Company, and Kraft Foods. The challenge, she explains, is that, “While the cash flow clock starts ticking on day one for our payroll commitments and consultants, payment terms for our clients range from 30 days to up to 120 days, in some cases. NOWaccount allows us to bridge this gap and better manage the cash flow needed for payroll and other operating expenses, and it gives us the confidence to take on new and larger projects knowing that we have a reliable and flexible source for operating capital at a competitive price.”

About NOW Corp®
NOW Corp is a certified women-owned business founded in December 2010 to address the needs of small businesses seeking affordable and accessible means to fund growth, create jobs, and stimulate the U.S. economy. Recognizing a void in funding solutions in the $32 trillion trade credit sector, the founders leveraged their engineering and entrepreneurial backgrounds to optimize the best components of a variety of traditional capital sources to meet the needs of small businesses funding trade credit for their commercial and government customers. Since launching the revenue accelerator funding model with its flagship offering NOWaccount®, NOW Corp has empowered small businesses across the nation to GROW FEARLESSLY!™, often resulting in double- and triple-digit revenue growth within the first year of enrollment. For more information, visit http://www.nowcorp.com.

About NOWaccount®
NOWaccount is a revenue accelerator and revolutionary new funding model designed to empower small businesses across the U.S. to GROW FEARLESSLY!™ – often resulting in double- or triple-digit revenue growth within the first year of enrollment. NOWaccount enables small businesses to accelerate cash flow and leverage capital from operations, rather than debt or equity, to confidently fund new and larger contracts with their commercial and government customers. With NOWaccount, small businesses can Get Paid NOW® on invoices to the customers they choose, for the same or less than the cost of accepting a credit card, while offloading customer payment risk, and outsourcing the professional management of their accounts receivables. Similar to accepting a credit card for payment, except the small business supplier chooses when to use it, NOWaccount is largely invisible to the customers who continue to take advantage of the free and flexible trade credit they require through the traditional accounts payable system. For more information, visit grow.nowaccount.com.

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Kim Humphreys

Lynthia Romney
WBENC
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