ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Operation HOPE today announced HOPE One Million New Black Business & New Black Entrepreneurship Initiative (1MBB) and its goal to help create one million new Black-owned businesses in the U.S. by 2030. To realize this mission, Operation HOPE is working with leading global commerce company, Shopify, which intends to provide up to approximately $130 million of resources through 1MBB over the course of this initiative.
Historically, the Black community has faced systemic barriers to entry that have prevented their full participation in the entrepreneurial journey. Together with Shopify, Operation HOPE aims to reduce these obstacles, encouraging more aspiring Black entrepreneurs to start and scale businesses, and provide them with the tools, resources, and education they may need to succeed.
Operation HOPE research has shown that 58% of Black businesses were deemed at risk or distressed and suffering from low profits, low credit scores, or income shocks in the months immediately following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020). Over the course of the pandemic, the number of Black workers and business owners fell sharply, over 40%, a more severe economic impact compared to other racial groups. The pandemic’s disproportionate effects on Black businesses result in both acute and long-term impacts on Black families and future generations. At present, four in 10 Black adults belong to families in which someone lost a job, was furloughed, or had hours cut, or lost work-related income because of the COVID-19.
To level the playing field, 1MBB intends to focus on critical tools for business success 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, and upon graduation, Shopify plans to provide aspiring Black entrepreneurs a tailored education with tools and resources to launch or expand their businesses.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its sixth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow the HOPE conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability, while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify powers over one million businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Allbirds, Gymshark, Heinz, Staples, and many more. For more information, visit www.shopify.com.