CBIA BizCast host Ali Warshavsky speaks with Fran Pastore, CEO and founder of the Women’s Business Development Council and Rafia Zahir-Uddin, vice president for global philanthropy with JPMorgan Chase.

Pastore and Zahir-Uddin discuss the long partnership between WBDC and JPMorgan Chase to support women-owned businesses across Connecticut.

Pastore opened WBDC’s first checking account with a $60 deposit 25 years ago at a JPMorgan Chase branch in Stamford.

The bank is now a major investor in WBDC’s mission, including making a recent $300,000 investment in the organization’s Equity Match Grant Program.

WBDC has distributed $924,000 to women in 52 municipalities in Connecticut since the program’s launch in 2022. 

“The first three rounds of grants we made, we had a goal of focusing on women of color and minorities and we achieved that goal with 30% of our goal of grants going to women of color and minorities,” said Pastore. 

“Our investment in WDBC is very much aligned with our mode of impact-which is supporting inclusive economic opportunity,” said Zahir-Uddin.

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