The Sara Blakely Foundation and Spanx Partner with Grameen America to Empower More Than 100,000 Low-Income Female Entrepreneurs Across the United States

Through a Multi-Faceted Partnership, the Sara Blakely Foundation,
Spanx and Grameen America Will Give Capital and Mentorship to Low-Income
Female Entrepreneurs

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sara Blakely, founder and owner of Spanx,
today announced a multi-faceted partnership between Spanx, the Sara
Blakely Foundation
, and Grameen
, a nonprofit microfinance organization that supports
low-income female entrepreneurs across the United States.

The Sara Blakely Foundation is an anchor sponsor of the Grameen America
Social Business Fund (GASBF). This is a unique U.S.-focused social
impact investment opportunity that aims to raise up to $25 million in
loan capital for Grameen America’s microloan portfolio. The goal of the
Sara Blakely Foundation’s significant commitment is to enable Grameen
America to empower more than 100,000 low-income women entrepreneurs
through microloans, credit and asset-building services.

In 2013, I joined the Giving Pledge, pledging to invest in women
because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment,”
said Blakely. “While many of the world’s natural resources are being
depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed—women.”

We are thrilled to partner with Sara to equip women with the tools and
confidence they need to become successful business owners,” said
Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America Founder and Board Chair. “Sara is the
ultimate champion and role model for this cause. Through her own
personal journey and extraordinary accomplishments, she understands
first-hand the importance and impact of empowering women entrepreneurs.”

With Grameen America microloans, these women are enabled to establish
financial credit, allowing them to break the cycle of poverty and make a
difference for their families, communities and cities.

In addition to sponsoring the Grameen America Social Business Fund
(GASBF), as part of the Spanx Leg Up® Program on, consumers
will have the opportunity to learn about the challenges faced by female
entrepreneurs living at or below the poverty line and vote to allocate
additional microloans to them.

I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to help women, and am truly inspired
by Grameen America’s efforts.” said Sara Blakely. “Through Leg Up®, our
customers can join our mission by helping us decide where to allocate
these funds,” added Blakely. “Sharing the opportunity to give back with
the people who helped me earn the right to do so in the first place is
so important, and I’m a big believer that women supporting women is
great karma.”

Sara is the embodiment of women empowering women,” explained Andrea
Jung, CEO of Grameen America. “From her company, to her foundation, to
her personal life, she is deeply committed to supporting and instilling
confidence in female entrepreneurs to help them achieve their dreams.
Having built success from a small amount of capital combined with an
innovative idea, she now wants share her empowerment journey with other
female entrepreneurs.”

About Grameen America

Grameen America is a 501(c)(3) microfinance organization dedicated to
helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create
better lives for their families. They offer microloans, training and
support to empower women entrepreneurs. Since 2008, Grameen America
has invested over $480 million in more than 75,000 women entrepreneurs
in 11 cities across the United States.

About The Sara Blakely Foundation

Since its inception in 2006, the Sara Blakely Foundation has donated
millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that
empower underserved women and girls. In 2013, Sara Blakely became the
first self-made, female billionaire to sign the Melinda and Bill Gates’
and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, promising to give at least half her
wealth to charity. While many of the world’s resources are being
depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: Women. The Sara Blakely
Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through
education, entrepreneurship and the arts.

About Leg Up

Spanx wants to give other amazing women entrepreneurs their leg up! As
Oprah gave Sara her big break by naming Spanx ® a ‘Favorite Thing,’
Blakely is paying it forward by endorsing female entrepreneurs and their
businesses. “Women supporting women is great karma and good for the
world,” is Blakely’s philosophy. Through and its social media
channels, Spanx highlights women and her business/products and invites
consumers to vote to allocate an additional boost to one of the featured
women. Each woman highlighted also receives a lucky red backpack—like
the bag Sara carried as her “good luck charm” in 2000 when starting

About Spanx

Spanx, Inc. was founded with $5,000 out of Sara Blakely’s apartment in
the year 2000. Spanx went on to revolutionize the undergarment industry
and became synonymous with an entire category through groundbreaking
innovation and a focus on comfort. The brand secured its place in
women’s hearts and in pop-culture history with daily mentions everywhere
from CNN to SNL. Today, Spanx offers a variety of every day solutions
including bras, tights, leggings, pants and activewear. The company
remains committed to its larger mission of helping women. Sara signed
the Gates/Buffett Giving Pledge, agreeing to donate half her wealth to
charity. She was also named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in
the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Spanx currently operates
10 retail stores in the United States,,
and in all the high-end department stores around the world from Neiman
Marcus to Harrods in London. Spanx is sold in more than 50 countries


For the Sara Blakely Foundation
Christine Miller, 929-227-6862