In partnership with SNAP, World Relief Spokane's Micro-enterprise Development (MED) program has been assisting refugees transform their lives since 2004. This program provides training and counseling to refugees and immigrants so that they can start their own small businesses.
MED and SNAP offer workshops to provide training and technical assistance on topics such as:
Creating a business plan
Applying for a small business loan
Small business management
MED has helped over 100 refugees/immigrants start small businesses in Spokane. These small businesses have in turn provided employment positions for other refugees and immigrants. To ensure the long term success of these small businesses, MED and SNAP continue to collaborate on follow-up activities and have established a refugee business owner network. Follow-up activities include advocating for refugee business owners with local authorities and lending committees and counseling refugee business owners on maintaining their businesses .
MED and SNAP also partner together to help refugees save for their futures. Through an Individual Development Account (IDA) refugees can save for post-secondary education or career enhancing education, to buy a first house, capitalize their business or buy a vehicle for employment or education. For every dollar a participant saves, he or she will have another dollar added to his or her total account balance!