Announcing FII's new website and research on entrepreneurial activity
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Dear Friend,

FII partners with low-income working families, the vast majority of whom are minorities living and working in urban areas. At enrollment, the average yearly income for an FII family of four is $23,820 or 97% of the federal poverty threshold. After two years, the average yearly income for that same family climbs to $32,088 or 30% above the threshold. We know that each family chooses their own unique path towards economic mobility. And we were pleased to learn that many families started their own informal businesses to accelerate their economic mobility. In fact, FII families engaged in entrepreneurial activity at rates higher than the general population by a margin of 4%.

We were curious about this trend, what it could tell us about our families, and how it influenced their engagement in our model. Because our families log into their online journals to input information about income and savings, health, education and skills, housing, leadership and connections each month, we have the opportunity to take a deep dive to better understand the entrepreneurial activities of our families, and were surprised at some of our findings. 

Jesús Gerena, CEO

P.S. Check out our new website at

Entrepreneurial Activity in Low-Income Families

  • 19% of FII families have their own business, either a new and evolving small business, or a side hustle to supplement traditional employment income.
  • FII families with business income have a higher median income than families without, $650 more.
  • Accessing FII’s Resource Hub is having a large impact. Regardless of the resource accessed, families with businesses that access resources are increasing their monthly income from employment, seasonal and temporary work, and their business.

Families gain access to FII’s Resource Hub, a flexible marketplace of financial capital, by meeting monthly with their group and providing data through their monthly journal. When families access capital from the Hub, they do not necessarily access those resources solely for the purpose of advancing their business. Instead, we see that resource use dedicated to their business falls between two other important priorities — spending more time with family and spending on children’s education. They are also purposefully spending on health and fitness, home ownership, transportation, debt reduction, and more, providing evidence that our families are focused on improving their lives on all fronts.

The average amount of capital resources accessed by families with businesses is $1,390. When looking at income in the 12 months before and after access to any resource, these families are leveraging this small investment to increase their income from employment, seasonal and temporary work, and their business income – regardless of the resource accessed. For the $1,390 average resource distributed, families are increasing their monthly income by 68% ($1,530/month) on average. 

Read our full analysis here.

The Rise of Felismina

story by Felismina De Pina

Before enrolling in FII, I was all over the place and getting nowhere. I was in my last semester of college, worked part time in retail sales and juggled being a mom and wife. With my hands being pretty full, it seemed like no matter how hard I tried or how much I did, I still ended up right back where I started, bills were paid, but still my family and I were living paycheck to paycheck...
...Thanks to FII's many available resources, such as the 2:1 business match program, educational scholarship, day care grant, and no interest loan, I've already reached many of my goals. I've become a homeowner, I created and manage an on-line retail store called Felismina's Closet on Poshmark, I started my own personal styling business, and I enrolled in an Image Consultant certification course at the Fashion Institute of Technology New York — All things I would've never been able to accomplish on my own....Read more.

Get Involved

Thousands of families across the country are shifting the perceptions, practices, and policies of low-income communities. Join us as we trust and invest in their initiatives.

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The Launch of our New Website

We are pleased to announce the launch of our completely redesigned website. After months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to share it with you today!

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Sasha Pellerin

Using FII's peer support and resources, I am about to close on the purchase of my first home.

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