Through the Spark grant program, entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups will be awarded up to $50,000 to use towards business expenses.
The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) announces Spark, a grant program designed to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the wholesale mortgage industry. Spark will launch with initial funding of $2 million and feature two separate business grant programs – one for minorities and one for women with the specific goal to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wholesale mortgage channel.
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Spark will award grant amounts up to $50,000 to be used towards businesses expenses associated with opening a brokerage. The recipients will receive access to AIME resources and trainings along with mentorship from fellow broker owners in the AIME community to develop as successful business owners in the mortgage industry. The grant program will open applications on December 1, 2020, and collect eligible applications through January 31, 2021. Applicants will be required to fill out the eligibility questionnaire to identify details including the years of experience they have in the mortgage industry, geographic location of their future brokerage, and a business plan outlining their business goals.
"AIME was founded with the core mission to grow the broker channel. This grant will be one of the cornerstones of that commitment to ultimately serve populations that are underrepresented in the mortgage industry and provide borrowers with more local, dedicated mortgage experts," said Katie Sweeney, Executive Vice President of Strategy at AIME. "Spark is a part of AIME’s dedication to growing and educating mortgage professionals throughout their careers while providing borrowers with more local, dedicated mortgage experts."
Initial funding for the Spark grant programs will come from United Wholesale Mortgage and Home Point’s community foundation, which both committed $1 million each to expand opportunities for independent mortgage brokers and are dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the wholesale mortgage industry.
"UWM is committed to the growth of the wholesale broker channel and providing the support brokers need to build their businesses" said Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage. "Through Spark, AIME is giving a diverse group of professionals the motivation to make the leap to become an entrepreneur to make homeownership a reality for consumers in their local community."
"Home Point Financial is proud to have Spark be the first recipient of $1 million dollars from our newly formed philanthropic community foundation." said Phil Shoemaker, President of Originations at Home Point Financial. "We are passionate about expanding opportunities for people from all walks of life interested in participating in the mortgage industry, and confident in AIME’s ability to grow and diversify the broker channel through unique initiatives like Spark."
According to U.S. Census data, homeownership grew 3.8% from the previous year, which is unprecedented growth compared to previous years with flat or negative increases. Through more diverse representation in the channel, brokers are positioned to provide borrowers the best options for their home purchases.
About Association of Independent Mortgage Experts
The Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) is a non-profit, national trade membership association created exclusively for independent mortgage brokers. With over 40,000 members, AIME is committed to fostering an inclusive environment to support and protect independent mortgage brokers across the country to grow the wholesale mortgage channel. AIME’s vision is to contribute to the overall growth of broker market share to above 25% in 2020 and beyond.
For additional information regarding the benefits associated with an AIME membership visit www.AIMEGroup.com.
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