Women in Philanthropy at SAF Helps to Launch Seven New Businesses through Micro-Loans

Women in Philanthropy is proud to announce that we have distributed a total of seven micro-loans, totaling $55,000, to women entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Lackawanna County!  The recently funded businesses will be celebrated at the Women in Philanthropy Annual Event on Thursday, November 9th from 5:30 to 8:30 at the University of Scranton, Leahy Hall, in the Kane Forum.

Women in Philanthropy (WIP) is a project of the Scranton Area Community Foundation.  Established in 2015 to confront the unique challenges and barriers to success faced by women and children in our community, WIP uses engaged, collective, and active philanthropy where donors are a part of the funding process.  WIP has four priority areas which are poised to make systemic change for women and children in our region. There are over 95 supporters of WIP who are diverse, community-minded philanthropists and professionals working to create meaningful, positive change in the lives of women and girls in Lackawanna County.

WIP has developed an entrepreneurship program that enables women to receive micro-loans between $1,000 to $10,000 to start or grow their business venture. This program, which includes educational opportunities and mentoring, removes many of the barriers faced by women in their pursuit to become economically independent. WIP provides financial confidence training that help entrepreneurial women seeking the opportunity to start or grow a business. In partnership with Peoples Security Bank and Trust, which has provided the capital for the micro-loan program, WIP aims to create a path for women to obtain necessary funding so they can make their business a success.

The first recipient of the micro-loans were Kari Johnson, owner of AOS Metals in Scranton, who received the recent SAGE Award Winner from the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for New and Emerging Business.  The second recipient was Jessica Bredbenner, owner of Tiddlywinks Boutique in Dunmore.

The five newest micro-loan recipients are Laura Palermo, owner of LuLaRoe by Laura Palermo; Mary Beck, owner of Central Station Marketplace and Antiques; Heather Rhodes, owner of In the Name of Hair Salon; Meegan Possemato, co-owner of On&On; and Carrie Thorne, owner of The Beauty Mark.

Laura Palermo offers the popular and fashionable clothing line LuLaRoe to multiple markets using a variety of shopping platforms. She operates her LuLaRoe business from her home in the North Pocono region, and she utilizes Facebook and social media to help her business thrive.

Central Station Marketplace and Antiques has over twenty vendors offering new, used, and antique products. They are located in the Keyser Oak Shopping Center in Scranton and they are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In the Name of Hair Salon is a full-service salon that offers hair, make-up, waxing and nail services. They are located in the Mid-Valley Industrial Park at the Shoppes at Rock Creek. They offer Lackawanna County a consistent, convenient, and affordable way to maintain their beauty image.

On&On, located at 1138 Capouse Avenue in Scranton, is a marketplace of repurposed, vintage and handmade items. They offer products from over 25 carefully selected artists and vendors who each bring their creativity and originality to their shops at On&On. They offer unique, one-of-a-kind gifts and home accessories as well as furniture and hard-to-find re-imaged vintage goods and clothing.

The Beauty Mark., located in Courthouse Square at 546 Spruce Street, Scranton, is a specialized beauty bar where expertise of luxurious skincare and cosmetic products are offered. They offer natural, clean, and organic makeup and skincare products, as well as organic sunless tanning and makeup parties and classes.

All of these women-run businesses can also be found on Facebook.

To learn more about Women in Philanthropy and their entrepreneurship and micro-loan program, please visit their website at or contact the Scranton Area Community Foundation at (570) 347-6203.