Executive Director


HaleyHaley Burns has pursued her passion for urban development, community research, and human-centered design throughout her education and career, building on her entrepreneurial nature. After a fellowship with Lend for America in 2012, Haley founded Fund 17 to empower underserved micro-entrepreneurs in New Orleans. Her experience is also international, having worked for an impact investing conference in Singapore and for Saha Global to start a clean water business in Northern Ghana. As the Executive Director of Fund 17, Haley has built an inclusive community for entrepreneurs, creating impact through key core values such as financial empowerment, personal goal-setting and relationship-building. In 2016, she became the Louisiana Small Business Advisor for Kiva, an international microfinance organization. With this title, Haley brought expertise to the state in leveraging Kiva’s crowdsourced financing platform for 0% interest micro-loans. In addition to leading Fund 17, Haley serves on the Board of Directors for Broad Community Connections and volunteers with the New Orleans Horror Film Fest. She loves traveling, sewing and attempting to play bass. Haley has a B.A. from Tulane University in History and International Development with a minor in Urban Studies.

Entrepreneurial Community Coordinator


antonio alonzo fund 17Antonio Alonzo is a community builder and social entrepreneur. He co-founded Dig Easy, a compost pickup service and a food waste education initiative. Antonio chaired the Global Shapers New Orleans hub for the past 2016-2017 term, which is a World Economic Forum organization to engage youth in social impact locally and leadership convenings regionally and internationally. As a steering committee member of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee, he shapes public policy to improve equity, opportunity, and collaboration in our local food system. For more than a year, Antonio has been organizing Freelance Friday, a once-a-month event for freelancers and entrepreneurs to get together to cowork and network. In 2017, he joined the Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans and has since awarded $20,000 to local organizations innovating the New Orleans workforce. Antonio recently became a 2018 New Leaders Council Fellow to cultivate his entrepreneurial path and political network. In Antonio’s role as Entrepreneurial Community Coordinator at Fund 17, he attracts, retains, and engages entrepreneurs for Fund 17’s business development programs. Antonio’s background in entrepreneurship, community organizing, and philanthropy make this role the perfect outlet to apply his passions.

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.



 Kiva and Impact Assessment: 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. Cecily works directly with entrepreneurs interested in applying for a Kiva loan. She also conducts check-in calls with entrepreneurs and collects data on their business growth and satisfaction with Fund 17 programming.


We are looking for interns in three key focus areas: Marketing and Communications, Creative Services and Accounting and Fundraising. Learn more and apply here.


Our 2017-2018 Fellows hail from Xavier University and Tulane University. Fellows receive on-going training and support while providing 1-on-1 business development assistance to our entrepreneur cohorts. Learn more about the Fellowship Program here.

fund 17 fellows 2017

From left to right: Rashad Wilkerson, Hannah Chaet, Kayla Bell, Daniel Petterway, Mya Jacobs.

Board of Directors

Alejandra Guzman, Chair

Lindsey Navarro, Co-chair

Kyle Hughes, Treasurer

Ashley Garcia, Secretary

Max Ciolino