Wyoming Economic Self-Sufficiency Study

In 2015, the Wyoming Women’s Foundation granted money to fund a study focused on economic self-sufficiency in Wyoming. The study examines women’s abilities to support their families and themselves. It also creates awareness about ways to better support economic self-sufficiency for Wyoming women and their families. WYWF released several reports and a calculator in 2016 discussing the status of self-sufficiency in Wyoming. The results of this study now helps WYWF make informed decisions about grantmaking.

WOMEN’S FINANCIAL HEALTH

The Wyoming Women’s Foundation (WYWF) provides a grant to assist the WWBC to expand their matched savings Individual Development Account (IDA) program. The program will match savings up to $2,000. WWBC developed the IDA program in 2008, and has been helping participants purchase eligible assets for the past nine years. The grant from WYWF will help expand the existing program.

The IDA program helps participants develop a lifelong habit of saving, and provides training to develop knowledge and skills in critical financial literacy areas. Families and individuals experience first-hand saving for a specific asset purchase, and realize the benefits of saving for specific purposes.

Participants may save and get matching funds for asset purchase in one of three areas: first time home purchase, funding of post-secondary education or capitalizing a business. For WYWF, this program addresses two pathways to economic self-sufficiency outlined in On the Road: Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Wyoming, a report WYWF released in 2016. These pathways provide an opportunity for participants to move from self-sufficiency to economic security. The partnership between these WWBC and WYWF will provide funding for at least twenty matched savings accounts for the 2017/2018 year. To learn more about the IDA program, visit wyomingwomen.org.

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