Recently, I visited Memphis to be with my good friends Mayor Jim Strickland and head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Administrator Isabella Guzman. This was the latest stop on the SBA’s nation-wide tour promoting the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM). The memorandum is geared toward promoting the development of entrepreneurial potential within the Black community. We had an excellent fireside chat where we discussed the historical context of the challenges we face today and what we’re doing right now to bring solutions. Economic empowerment and financial dignity through financial literacy are core components and two of the chief civil and human right issues of our time.


Black Enterprise covered the story and our ongoing relationship with the City of Memphis and the SBA in a recently published article. Enjoy the excerpt below and then read the entire write-up here

Operation HOPE and the City of Memphis collaborated with the One Million Black Business and Entrepreneur Initiative back in February 2021 to expand on its mission to drive Black economic development across the United States.

“We aim to start, grow, and scale 1 million Black businesses by 2030 to provide a successful path to wealth creation for the black community,” the website states.

Operation HOPE was founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist John Hope Bryant with a vision to create an innovative approach to uplifting the community and addressing critical issues facing corporations and financial institutions. The American non-profit organization partners with “like-minded players” to provide resources that target systemic issues like economic inequality, financial illiteracy, social injustice, inequitable access to capital, and lack of financial dignity.

“My business has encountered and taken full advantage of the City of Memphis’ certification process, Operation HOPE’s 1MBB program and the SBA’s programs/trainings, and COVID recovery,” said Nicole Gates, owner of She-EO Unlimited. “Thanks to Operation HOPE, I completed their in-depth entrepreneur training program and even became Shopify certified.”

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