1863 Ventures, Leading Incubator of Black and Brown Entrepreneurs, Launches 3Rs Business Development Program

$850K in Grants, Provided in Partnership with Capital One and
The Rockefeller Foundation, Will Help Minority
Owners Navigate Pandemic Uncertainty, Strengthen Operations

WASHINGTON--()--1863 Ventures, the DC based, #1 national business development non-profit for New Majority Entrepreneurs – individuals that have been historically marginalized - has launched 3Rs (Recovery, Rebuild, Resilience) business development program which will provide over $850k in grant funding from Capital One and The Rockefeller Foundation.

COVID-19 has caused significant detrimental effects in communities of color. 1863 Ventures’ 3Rs program was developed to help Black founders navigate the pandemic and empower them not only through monetary support, but also through live and online curated business development curriculum, as well as 1:1 business coaching. The program will also help Black businesses reevaluate their business models, recommending pivots where necessary, and helping entrepreneurs set a targeted growth strategy, and executing with a clear roadmap.

1863 Ventures was founded in 2016 by Melissa Bradley, a tri-sector leader with more than 20 years of experience as an investor and entrepreneur, to help 500 Black entrepreneurial minded residents East of the River in DC, start businesses and create jobs for their community. Now, with a mission to create $100 billion in new wealth by 2030 through both its non-profit programming and venture fund, 1863 Ventures has its goals set very high to change the narrative for New Majority founders. 1863 Ventures’ entrepreneur membership represents nearly $300 million+ in revenues and over 3k jobs created.

“1863 Ventures is humbled to work with Capital One and The Rockefeller Foundation to help Black entrepreneurs in place. Black entrepreneurs were the hardest hit during the pandemic but received the lowest levels of investment to survive,” said Melissa Bradley, Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures. “This program is important because Black businesses are the fastest growing segment of the nation’s small business owners. According to a report by the Center for Global Policy Solutions, ‘America is currently forgoing an estimated 1.1 million businesses owned by people of color because of past and present discrimination in American society. These missing businesses could produce an estimated 9 million more jobs and boost our national income by $300 billion.’ Investing in these businesses is not just a moral imperative but an economic one for Black communities and this country.”

For Bradley, who serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and John Johnson chair of entrepreneurship at Howard University, this is her life work. Bradley has founded, sold and invested in multiple businesses. She is a Founding Advisor to the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs as well as a former Senator with the Board of Governors at Georgetown University. She is also Founder and Former Chair of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance and was a Founding Member, The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Through its partnership with Capital One, 1863 Ventures is providing 100 Black businesses incorporated in the District of Columbia with curated online business development content, $5,000 grants and 3-months of business coaching.

Through funding from The Rockefeller Foundation, 1863 Ventures is providing an additional support to 1,200 Black businesses across 14 cities in the United States with the same opportunity and grant awards.

The respective cities are:

-- Oakland, CA

-- El Paso, TX

-- Norfolk, VA

-- Chicago, IL

-- Gainesville, FL

-- Atlanta, GA

-- Newark, NJ

-- Boston, MA

-- Jackson, MI

-- Louisville, KY

-- Houston, TX -- DC Metropolitan Region (DMV)

-- Baltimore, MD

-- Miami-Dade, FL

Although 3Rs DC with Capital One commenced in November 2020, the program is open through the end of 2021. 1863 Ventures hopes to not only have this program serve as a quick avenue to provide development coaching and grants to entrepreneurs in DC, but to also continue to build its long-term support of Black owned businesses in the Nation’s Capital.

1863 Ventures Chief Operating Officer, Danny Wright says “now is a pivotal point in time for the world of philanthropy to truly accept the challenge of funding opportunities that foster generational wealth and economic mobility for communities that have been most marginalized in our country. Without philanthropic organizations actually putting the necessary levels of funding behind their missions and like causes, poverty will always exist, regardless of how wealthy our nation is on paper.”

For participants in The Rockefeller Foundation based cities, the business development portal is now open. Grant funding for these cities is expected to commence at the beginning of April 2021. Entrepreneurs who are not Black and are not based in the grant cities can still participate in the business development components of the curriculum. However, they will not be eligible for grant funding.

1863 Ventures is welcoming additional funding partners that can help expand grant awards to other hard-hit communities across the United States. Further, 1863 Ventures welcomes community partners that can help disseminate the program information to businesses that can benefit from the 3Rs program.

About 1863 Ventures

1863 Ventures is the #1 national business development nonprofit for New Majority Entrepreneurs; individuals who have been historically marginalized (e.g. BIPOC). The DC based non-profit organization’s mission is to create $100 billion in New Wealth, by and for New Majority Entrepreneurs, by 2030. The organization was founded by Melissa Bradley, entrepreneur, VC investor and Georgetown University associate professor. This year, 1863 Ventures will support over 1,500 New Majority entrepreneurs across the United States, through programming and grant support. Learn more at 1863ventures.net.


Steven Rodriguez


Steven Rodriguez