HOUSTON, Oct. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, NAACP Empowerment Programs announced their newly acquired ownership stake in Hello Alice, the largest digital platform helping small businesses launch and grow through access to capital. The announcement is a first for the NAACP Empowerment Programs and will provide substantial resources towards advancing the organization’s goals for economic equality for Black communities.
“To champion true racial equity, we need to address the long-standing economic inequality that has left Black communities underfunded and undervalued for centuries,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. “That’s why we’ve taken the unprecedented step to join as a part-owner of Hello Alice. Our Black-owned businesses, who already faced long-ingrained institutional barriers to success, continue to recover from the devastation thrust upon them by the pandemic. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, today there are an estimated 2.6 million Black-owned businesses, and this first-of-its kind partnership is a pivotal step towards putting Black business at the forefront of our economy and as a result, building generational wealth and economic power for Black communities.”
In an effort to support Black-owned businesses on a long-term basis, the NAACP Empowerment Programs first began partnering with Hello Alice to create the Black-owned Business Resource Center that includes capital and networking opportunities for Black small business owners throughout the country. Forty-four percent of small business owners on the Hello Alice platform identify as Black business owners. As part-owner, NAACP Empowerment Programs now hosts voting rights and fully vested equity in Hello Alice. As Hello Alice grows its valuation and revenue, NAACP Empowerment Programs will receive the same financial earnings as other investors on the cap table, to benefit both the organization and the communities it serves.
“It’s time for the word equity to hold its full meaning in business,” said Elizabeth Gore, Co-founder and President of Hello Alice. “Black business owners are the most entrepreneurial of any ethnicity in our country, and a critical customer set of our business. As a platform focused on the new majority, the NAACP Empowerment Programs share our values to ensure all small business owners have access to the capital they need to scale. This is the best economic bet we can make.”
The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated inequalities that Black-owned businesses were already facing. The Black-Owned Economy Report surveyed 79,303 owners on the challenges they’re facing and found the biggest one to be raising capital. In addition to distributing four million dollars in grants, the NAACP Empowerment Programs and Hello Alice launched several initiatives to help these businesses stay afloat and support their communities. Some of these programs included: the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation to launch the Power Forward Small Business Grant, the Backing the B.A.R initiative in collaboration with Bacardi, Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund, and finally Daymond John’s Black Entrepreneurs Day.
The NAACP has long believed that economic equity is crucial to racial equity, and an inclusive economy means everyone can contribute and earn with fair access to resources and opportunity. Closing the revenue gap between Black and white businesses would generate an additional $290 billion for the U.S. economy.
NAACP Empowerment Programs joins other Hello Alice investors that include QED Investors, SVB Financial Group, How Woman Invest, Green Book Ventures, Backstage Capital, Harbert Growth Partners, Serena Ventures, Phyllis Newhouse, and Jean Case.
ABOUT HELLO ALICE
Hello Alice is a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. With a community of nearly 500,000 business owners in all 50 states and across the globe, Hello Alice is building the largest network of owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for entrepreneurs. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. A Latina owned company, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, we believe in business for all by providing access to all owners including women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
ABOUT THE NAACP
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.
NAACP | Marc Banks, National Press Secretary
Hello Alice | Sabine Lavache
SOURCE Hello Alice