Cookies maker, Famous Amos, has announced the availability of the second round of small business grants for black entrepreneurs. The grants come in partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and are part of the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative.
Famous Amos Small Business Grant for Black Entrepreneurs
The Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative is a grant and mentorship program that aims to provide the tools and resources to support black small businesses. Through it, participants will engage in a pitch contest that will help provide an overview of their business, why it will become a successful enterprise, and how awarded funds will be used for long-term stability.
As part of the initiative, three business owners will receive $50,000 in unrestricted capital from Famous Amos, totaling $150,000 in cash awards. Support also comes through a full suite of mentoring, coaching, and networking resources that would be provided by the National Black Chamber of Commerce.
“We established the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative to support Black businesses and to honor the legacy of the brand’s founder, Mr. Wally Amos,” said Rachna Patel, Senior Director of Marketing for Famous Amos.
To qualify, businesses must be Black-owned and have been in operation for five years or less with the deadline for submissions set for June 26th, 2022. Ten national finalists will be selected, judged, and narrowed down to three recipients by some of the nation’s foremost Black business leaders.
These include Mandy Bowman, Founder of Official Black Wall Street; Steve Canal, CEO of Flourysh; Roby Mercharles, VP of Partnerships at The American Dream Fund & Marketplace; and Nancey Harris and Tracy Green, Co-Founders of Vontelle, LLC, one of three businesses selected from the first cycle of the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative.
Winners of the grant and mentorship resources will be announced on August 29, 2022. The first cycle of the grant scheme saw 2,750 applications with three companies: MeLisa Chanele, Black Girl MATHgic, and Vontélle winning grants.
The State of Black-Owned Small Businesses
According to the Small Businesses Administration (SBA), Black-owned businesses make up some 3.07 million of the nation’s 32.3 million small businesses. Black-owned businesses account for close to 10% of small businesses across the nation with only 124,551 (0.38%) employing staff.
In addition, according to the Federal Reserve System’s 2021 Small Business Credit Survey most small business owners reported experiencing financial hardship during the early stages of the pandemic, of which the highest rate was reported by Black business owners at 92 percent. The survey also pointed to challenges in receiving pandemic-related support with only 43 percent of black businesses receiving the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans they applied for, compared to 79 percent of white-owned firms.
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