CIT and Operation HOPE Celebrate National Small Business Week and Introduce Launch and Grow

A HOPE Inside Program Presented by CIT to Empower Women Entrepreneurs
 NEW YORK, May 2, 2019  — CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), in partnership with the nonprofit Operation HOPE, today introduced the next facet of its Launch and Grow initiative, a 12-week HOPE Inside program aimed at empowering women small business owners in New York City and Los Angeles.

Building upon last year’s ten-part small business educational video series, the 2019 Launch and Grow program kicks off during National Small Business Week and includes a series of in-person workshops and classes for small business owners. Classes will focus on key topics such as maintaining strong personal credit, accessing capital, and managing budgets.

“Empowering businesses is at the core of our mission, and the Launch and Grow HOPE Inside program is designed to provide small business owners with the training and coaching they need to bring their ideas to fruition,” said CIT Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Alemany. “We’re pleased to provide participating women the opportunity to grow, develop and pursue their passions through this rewarding program.”

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with CIT to help women entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable success,” said Operation HOPE’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant. “Our collaborative efforts will arm participants with the tools they need to thrive. Building and maintaining good credit is an absolute essential in this process so that the ‘woman behind the business’ is truly empowered.”

The Launch and Grow initiative is a HOPE Inside programming model created by Operation HOPE to provide no-cost financial empowerment coaching and education to small businesses.

Throughout the next 18 months, the program will provide over 400 women with tools and resources to cultivate their small businesses. In addition, the New York program will include a network of program partners to include Mastercard, the Francine A. LeFrak FoundationSTRIVE, and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. These partners, along with CIT representatives, will provide their expertise and insights along the journey. The Los Angeles program is expected to begin in the summer.

The New York and Los Angeles cohorts will culminate with an “Ideas into Outcomes” business plan competition that will provide participants with the opportunity to showcase their plans and skillsets before a panel of distinguished judges. CIT will award the top three winners seed money to advance their business goals.

Individuals can access the content and resources by visiting www.cit.com/launch-grow and engage on social media by following #LaunchAndGrow.

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