Shopify advances mission with up to ~$130 million of resources
Historically, Black communities have faced systemic barriers that have prevented their full participation in the entrepreneurial journey. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Black-owned businesses represent only 9.5% of all businesses in the country, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 41% decline in Black owners in the US from February to April according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. In our efforts to see these statistics improve over time, we’re announcing today our participation in HOPE One Million New Black Business & New Black Entrepreneurship Initiative (1MBB) with our intention to provide up to approximately $130 million of resources over the course of this initiative to help create one million new Black-owned businesses in the U.S. by 2030.
Together with Operation HOPE, we aim to remove traditional hurdles to Black entrepreneurship and encourage more aspiring Black business owners to start — and scale— by providing them with the tools, resources, and education they may need to succeed. To level the playing field, 1MBB will focus on critical tools for business growth such as technology and resources, educational programs, and the opportunity to access capital. Through this program, Black business owners have the opportunity to sign up for Operation HOPE’s award-winning model of community uplift, financial literacy and education, with access to tailored tools and resources upon graduation. Shopify’s support of 1MBB is part of our ongoing efforts to create even more opportunities for Black entrepreneurs, which have recently included our feature in Shop for consumers to discover Black-owned businesses and our Build Black event and community.
“At Shopify, we believe more independent voices make commerce better for everyone. That’s why we work to break down the barriers to entrepreneurship every day,” said Harley Finkelstein, Shopify President. “By collaborating with Operation HOPE and working together on our shared passion for helping underserved communities succeed, we believe we can help unlock even more economic opportunities for Black business owners across the country, leading to greater choices for shoppers everywhere.”
“Creating generational wealth through the creation of new Black businesses and Black entrepreneurs is a direct gateway to social justice. The creation of ownership, jobs and opportunity in a generation helps to strengthen democracy and ensure freedom through self determination. This is empowerment at scale,” said John Hope Bryant, CEO and Founder of Operation HOPE. “To have Shopify actively supporting the 1MBB Initiative is a true game changer. Working together, we can scale our business creation platform to help underserved communities and enhance economic prosperity across America.”
To learn more about this initiative, visit www.HOPE1MBB.org. Organizations looking to work with Operation HOPE and Shopify to advance our mission to help more Black businesses build the future of commerce are encouraged to fill out a form through www.HOPE1MBB.org