Strategic Partnerships Multiply Impact

Mar 12, 2014 10:25 AM ET

by Andrew Plepler, Bank of America Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Policy Executive

Working in the field of corporate social responsibility for more than a decade has given me a firsthand view of the positive role businesses can play in addressing some of society’s major challenges. It isn't always perfect and it isn't always easy, but to tackle big challenges, business has to be part of the solution.

One of the best things any business can do is use their own resources to help the public and private sectors to accomplish something bigger than it ever could on its own. A recent example is our partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation (TBF) to support women entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income communities.  

What can a large financial institution and an accomplished fashion designer achieve together? Fair question. We recognize the economic and social value of advancing women small business owners. We also understand that each offers something valuable – our capital and partnerships with nonprofit loan centers, and TBF’s experience advising women entrepreneurs on business growth strategies – creating a powerful formula to help women expand their businesses and fuel economic growth.  

Even today women struggle to gain access to the resources they need to grow their businesses and create jobs, and they remain significantly underrepresented among the ranks of business owners despite making progress over the last few decades. Our intent with this partnership is to help level the playing field by creating communities of women entrepreneurs around the country. Our goal is simple: by helping individuals and businesses reach their full economic potential, we will help strengthen local economies where we do business.

As we continue to address important issues through strategic partnerships and other initiatives, our corporate social responsibility program will not only guide the values and principles that our company represents, but will also make a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals, families and communities.

As a company, we will continue to do our part to be good corporate citizens, bringing our resources and expertise to partnerships that enable us to help address complex problems. I look forward to sharing more stories and lessons learned as we move ahead.


About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 50 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,100 retail banking offices and approximately 16,300 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users and more than 14 million mobile users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.