Originally published by Black Enterprise
Launched in October 2020, Operation HOPE‘s 1 Million Black Businesses initiative (1MBB) Initiative is making great headway with its streak of impressive growth and action-driven impact.
Today, there is a disconnect between policymakers and organizations who serve on the frontlines to support Black entrepreneurs. In an effort to improve outcomes, HOPE seeks to serve as a Sherpa to help connect the dots in many ways, including teaming up with the city of Charlotte, North Carolina.
As reported by WCNC, the city and HOPE “plans to provide tools and resources to these small business owners so they know how to form a winning path toward expansion. This partnership takes Charlotte Black businesses, who were also less likely to receive prime city contracts as of last year, in a hopeful direction.
“As a city, we truly believe in the power of diversity and inclusion, and fully support our small and minority-owned businesses,” Charlotte District 2 City Council Member Malcolm Graham said, per WCNC. “We know we can do more to build up our small business climate, especially in areas that have been traditionally underrepresented by city government. In partnership with Operation HOPE, we’re excited to create meaningful impact and leverage 1MBB in Charlotte.”
This move is just part of the Initiative’s aim to start, grow, and scale one million Black businesses by 2030 to provide a successful path to wealth creation for the Black community. Participants can take advantage of coaching and educational services, access to expert volunteers and more.
According to Smart Asset, Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia recently ranked second among the top 15 places for Black entrepreneurs—Black-owned businesses make up 27.59% of all businesses in the area. However, a previous Charlotte study shows disparity high for Black businesses.
The Charlotte Observer previously reported on census data from 2021 that showed more than 3,000 minority-owned businesses and around 3,500 women-owned businesses in Charlotte. The city also had more than 13,000 non-minority-owned businesses at the time, according to the data.
“We are grateful to the Mayor and leaders throughout the City of Charlotte for taking action to help build entrepreneurship and fuel economic prosperity for every community,” Operation HOPE founder, chairman, and CEO John Hope Bryant said. “Together, we will support existing and aspiring entrepreneurs–through education, access to resources and capital—to reach our goal of creating one million new Black business owners by 2030.”