Executive Director


HaleyHaley Burns has pursued her passion for urban development, research, and human-centered design throughout her education and career, building on her entrepreneurial nature. After a fellowship with Lend for America in 2012 in her sophomore year, Haley founded Fund 17 to empower under-served micro-entrepreneurs in the New Orleans community. In 2013, she worked for an impact investing conference in Singapore and a year later for Saha Global to start a clean water business in Northern Ghana. She loves traveling, practicing new languages, and managing her own “side hustle,” a bread business named Haley Jo’s Dough. She holds degrees in History and International Development, with a minor in Urban Studies.

Assistant Director


DSC_2617 cropAshley was a fellow in Fund 17’s inaugural cohort before becoming a director. Originally from New York City, she loves New Orleans for its culture, history and consistent evolution. As the daughter of Puerto Rican and Dominican parents, Ashley is proud to be leading our new efforts in the Latino community. She is also applying her experience as a fellow to provide guidance and insight to our current fellows as they work with entrepreneurs. She recently graduated from Loyola University with a degree in International Business.


Business Development Adviser


DSC_2572 cropKyle grew up in Maryland and Alabama but joins Fund 17 after living in New Orleans the past 15 years. As Business Development Adviser, he works directly with entrepreneurs and provides assistance to fellows in their work. As an entrepreneur who has started two companies, Kyle is highly skilled with business start-up, zoning, and permitting issues. Kyle is currently working with Anastasia, who has just opened her own all-natural beauty salon in the bayou St. John neighborhood earlier this month!

Business Case Managers



Walter recently returned to the New Orleans area after spending time in Spain as an English teacher and cultural assistant. Prior to that, he worked in various banking and financial settings and received his MBA from the University of New Orleans. Walter’s financial skills paired with his patience and personability will allow him to provide valuable guidance to our entrepreneurs.



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Tyler first fell in love with New Orleans while volunteering in the lower ninth ward during the summer of 2008. After graduating from Johnson and Wales’ culinary program in 2012, she decided to make the city her home. Tyler has more than a decade of experience in the hospitality industry with a focus on training development and management. She looks forward to working one-on-one with Fund 17 entrepreneurs and finding creative solutions to grow their passions into sustainable businesses.


Marketing Communications Intern: ELI KEMP


Eli is a senior from Tulane University studying international relations and Spanish.  At Fund 17 he is in charge of social media and outreach communication. He helps to edit blog posts and organize the monthly newsletter. Eli comes from the Bay Area and enjoys rocking out on the drums and shooting hoops in the gym.


Creative Intern: WILL MCCALLUM


Will is a senior at Tulane University from St. Louis, MO pursuing a BSA in Architecture and History. He is the creative intern providing in-house design and photography related services for Fund 17. Will also works directly with entrepreneurs to develop branding and design strategies to help grow their businesses.

Kiva and Impact Assessment Intern: CECILY MONTGOMERY

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Cecily is studying political science, international development and Spanish at Tulane University. She became interested in the idea of working with loans and entrepreneurship over the summer of 2016 when she worked with a non-profit in Paraguay that provides microloans to women to start their own businesses. This summer, her job as the impact assessment and Kiva intern will allow her to work directly with entrepreneurs who are in the process of applying for loans.

Community Research Intern: LOUIS NIX

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Louis is a senior from Robert, Louisiana studying economics and international relations at Tulane University. He comes to Fund 17 as a community research intern, helping to complete the latest surveying efforts. Louis is involved with data collection, data analysis, and impact assessment.