NEW YORK, March 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CIT Group Inc., (NYSE: CIT), in partnership with the nonprofit Operation HOPE, today introduced the Launch and Grow video series to empower and educate small business owners. The series features small business owners across the U.S. telling their unique stories and offering guidance on key business topics like accessing capital, recovering from mistakes and leading through growth.


CIT Chairwoman and CEO Ellen Alemany with Operation Hope Founder and CEO John Hope Bryant announcing the Launch + Grow small business series.

"Strong businesses are integral to creating strong communities, and CIT has been powering businesses for over a century with financing and expertise that support their goals. We are pleased to partner with Operation HOPE on this series, which delivers inspiring content to small business owners in an easy and accessible way," said CIT Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen R. Alemany.  

The series, which features CIT customers and Operation HOPE clients, kicks off with Operation HOPE's founder, chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant and CIT's head of digital small business lending, John Donohue, discussing a common challenge for small businesses – accessing capital.

"Entrepreneurs need a financing partner that can empower them to tackle challenges and reach their goals, whether they are in the beginning stages or looking to expand," said John Hope Bryant, founder of Operation HOPE. "CIT and Operation HOPE's collaboration provides both the knowledge and support to drive small businesses into action. This is Operation HOPE's first digital series focused on small business and we are pleased to partner with CIT on this effort."

"Roughly three-quarters of small businesses require financing to make investments and grow their businesses" said John Donohue, managing director for CIT Direct Capital. "Since we began our journey about 25 years ago, we have provided approximately $4 billion in capital to over 100,000 small businesses across the country.  We work with small business owners every day and are proud to showcase some of our customers and their success stories in this series. We hope their journey will inspire others to launch and grow their businesses."

Video topics include:

  • Accessing Capital: John Donohue, Head of CIT Direct Capital Small Business Lending, and John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Operation HOPE
  • Building Your Team: Edward Song, Founder of Five Points Learning
  • Passion, Purpose & Profit: Patrice Diaz-Migoyo, Executive Director of Career Gear
  • Cultivating Your Personal Brand: Nia Dara, Founder of Nia Dara New York
  • Leading a Business Through Rapid Growth: Whitney Sullivan, Founder of Size Matters
  • Recovering from Big Mistakes: Jewel Thompson, Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach
  • What's Your Price: Cedric Brown, Founder of Cedric Brown Collections
  • Confidence is Key: Shirley Batchelor, Founder of Grandma's Gourmet Quick & Easy Cornbread
  • Building & Leveraging Relationship Capital: Jayel Priester, Founder of Kuponya
  • Your Reputation Precedes You: Kimberly Starks, Founder of Blue Scorpion Reputation Management

Individuals can access the content and resources by visiting and engage on social media by following #LaunchAndGrow.

About CIT

Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with approximately $50 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2017. Its principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A., (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender) has approximately $30 billion of deposits and more than $40 billion of assets. CIT provides financing, leasing, and advisory services principally to middle-market companies and small businesses across a wide variety of industries. It also offers products and services to consumers through its Internet bank franchise and a network of retail branches in Southern California, operating as OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A. For more information visit and follow us on TwitterLinkedInYouTube and Facebook. Register to receive press releases at

About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low- and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million individuals and directed more than $2.7 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its third consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

Olivia Weiss

Caryn Anderson


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