Philanthropist, activist Mildred Leet dies in NYC

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2011 9:49 PM
Philanthropist, activist Mildred Leet dies in NYC

A philanthropist who co-founded one of the first U.S. nonprofit organizations to provide small grants to help poor people start their own businesses has died in New York City.

Mildred Robbins Leet died May 3 in Manhattan at age 88 from complications of a fall.

Leet and her husband started Trickle Up in 1979.

Trickle Up found needy people and helped them create business plans. If a business plan was deemed feasible, the program granted the petitioner a first installment of $50. A second installment of $50 was paid in six months if the participant was meeting stated goals.

The charity has helped start more than 200,000 businesses. Today it operates in five countries _ Mali, Burkina Faso, India, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Leet's death was confirmed by Trickle Up's president, William Abrams.