ATLANTA (May 25, 2023) – Operation HOPE, the nation’s leading non-profit dedicated to financial empowerment for underserved communities, today announced the continued growth of its 1 Million Black Business (1MBB) initiative, which was one of the winners of Fast Company’s 2023 ‘World Changing Ideas’ Awards. In the first quarter of 2023, 1MBB signed up, engaged, and supported 88,644* new Black businesses. Community stakeholder partners also committed to starting an additional 22,825 businesses, continuing the program’s momentum in reaching its goal to stand up one million new businesses by 2030. Access to 1MBB is offered at no cost to participants.
To date, 1MBB has signed up, engaged and supported more than 257,000 businesses, which accounts for nearly 5% of all Black-owned businesses in the US. With the support of financial partners, 1MBB has also secured over $26 Million dollars in small business loans to 369 Black businesses across the country. This includes e-commerce retailers who have leveraged the Shopify platform to reach new customers online. In addition to Shopify, program partners include the U.S. Small Business Administration, Truist, Wells Fargo, and the NFL, to name a few.
“1MBB’s mission to build Black businesses is not simply about selling products and services —it’s designed to help families create a legacy that uplifts and transforms communities,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “That means providing access to the coaching and capital that allows them to take advantage of new enterprise models— and sustain their businesses over the long haul. This is a game-changing movement.”
The 1MBB initiative includes personalized coaching and entrepreneurship training (ETP) by certified financial coaches via webinars and workshops. Participants also gain access to a coalition of prominent groups in accounting, legal, e-commerce, technology and marketing. In addition to coaching on credit and money management. Participants represent a diverse set of industries ranging from apparel and consumer goods to education and health services.
“Discovering 1MBB through Operation HOPE was literally the best thing that has ever happened to me,” said Alexia J. Hogan, Founder and CEO of Mental Health Over Everything. “There’s truly no program that even comes close to what Operation HOPE has provided and I’m so grateful that it exists. My business is thriving because of 1MBB.” Hogan’s e-commerce storefront provides quality apparel and self-care tools powered by 1MBB founding partner Shopify.
According to the US Dept of Labor, 45% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Data also reveals that the likelihood of failure is disproportionately higher for Black-owned businesses.
As 1MBB continues to expand, more Black entrepreneurs will be equipped with the tools and resources needed to create, scale and sustain their enterprise. The initiative is aligned with Operation HOPE’s broader mission to promote financial inclusion and dignity, aimed at empowering the underserved of America.
To learn more about this initiative, visit HOPE1MBB.org. *Note to media: numbers reported above do not include 1MBB impact, engagement and support in partnership with the SBA’s small business commitment in their US districts.
Launched in October 2020 with the support of founding partner Shopify, 1MBB aims to remove traditional hurdles to for aspiring Black business owners. Through ongoing partnerships, 1MBB will continue to offer tools for business growth such as technology and resources, educational programs, and funding. To learn more about 1MBB, visit 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. For more information: OperationHOPE.org. Follow the HOPE conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.