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Operation Hope, Shopify Team Up For Initiative to Create 1 Million Black-Owned Businesses Over the Next Decade

  • New initiative from Operation Hope and Shopify seeks to foster the growth of Black-owned businesses in the United States
  • Effort seeks to eliminate obstacles faced by many Black entrepreneurs in launching enterprises
  • Program will provide approximately $130 million in resources and is open to any Black entrepreneurs or small business owners

A new initiative aiming at growing and sustaining the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States has been launched, aiming to create 1 million new Black entrepreneurs and business owners by 2030.

Operation Hope, which offers financial services and education to African Americans, is joining with the Canadian e-commerce company Shopify on the HOPE One Million New Black Business & New Black Entrepreneurship Initiative (1MBB). Shopify says it intends to commit up to $130 million to the initiative, which will offer services such as business development guidance, small business coaches, and a team of volunteers with expertise in areas such as accounting, marketing, and e-commerce.

1MBB hopes to address the challenges many Black entrepreneurs face in starting or sustaining a business, such as difficulty in securing financing. It notes how there are just 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the nation, 96 percent of which are solo ventures,  accounting for only 9.5 percent of U.S. companies. These businesses have been disproportionately affected by income losses and other problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 41 percent drop in Black business owners between February and April.

1MBB has launched a website and is currently seeking partners, volunteers, and aspiring or existing business owners. The initiative’s services are open to any Black entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their business, allowing participants to pursue their own path or attend a specialized 10-week module designed for those with no business experience.

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