The McBride Sisters Collection, the largest Black-owned wine business in the U.S., announced the first round of winners of its #SHECANThrive2020 initiative, the second “vintage” of the brand’s SHECAN Professional Development Fund. The SHECAN Fund was first founded in 2019 to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine and spirits industry.
In 2020, company founders Robin McBride and Andréa McBride John were moved to action by the extreme challenges that Black-owned businesses faced due to COVID-19 and focused the #SHECANThrive2020 investments specifically in the areas that Black women find to be most challenging to fund, including access to capital and technical support, alongside the entrepreneurial resources required to run and market a growing company. A record number of female entrepreneurs applied (1,500+) across a range of industries, from lifestyle to health & wellness to food & wine. Boosted by new corporate sponsors and individual donors, the Fund will award a total of $300,000 in grants this year, an increase of 600% over last year.
According to CitiGroup, over the past 20 years the U.S. has lost $16 trillion in revenue because of the inequities in education, housing, wages, and business investment between Black and White Americans. At the beginning of February 2020, there were more than 1 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. By mid-April 2020, 440,000, or 41 percent, of those businesses, had shuttered permanently. In contrast, 17 percent of white-owned businesses closed during the same period. And only 4 percent of Black-owned businesses received support from the government as part of the Payroll Protection Plan last year.
The SHECAN Professional Development Fund would not be possible without the generous support of its 2020 and 2021 corporate partners, which include Morgan Stanley and Silicon Valley Bank. Facebook is also participating in the program as a Programmatic Partner. These contributions build upon the significant investment made by the McBride Sisters themselves to the fund.
“Black women-owned businesses have been hit harder than most by the pandemic,” says William Stevens, head of the Wine Division for Silicon Valley Bank. “We are grateful for the McBride Sisters’ leadership to offer much needed access to capital to these small business owners at this time. Helping small businesses thrive, from the wine industry to the innovation economy, is what Silicon Valley Bank is all about, and we share the McBride Sisters’ desire to lift up and invest in Black women-owned businesses in particular. We’re appreciative of the opportunity to be a supporting partner in the SHECANThrive grant program.”
“Morgan Stanley is honored to sponsor The McBride Sisters Collection SHECAN Professional Development Fund,” said Caroline Gundeck, managing director and head of Private Wealth Management Client and Field Engagement for Morgan Stanley. “A part of our mission is to help individuals, families, and institutions manage and distribute the capital they need to achieve their goals. As we continue our efforts to promote financial literacy and women’s empowerment, we’re committed to supporting brands that align and bring life to our mission and goals. Through partnerships like this, we will continue our endless pursuit to bridging the wealth gap in Black and Brown communities for future generations.”
#SHECANThrive2020 provides participants access to Facebook Elevate, a program designed to accelerate the economic success of minority-owned businesses through educational resources on how to leverage Facebook’s ad platforms and grow a brand. The fund also offers grantees access to Facebook’s Business Leaders Network, a diverse community of founders and entrepreneurs, providing the tools to help foster personal and professional growth through collaboration opportunities, technical support and learning and development.
As proud members of the Black female entrepreneur community since founding their company in 1999, the McBride Sisters are uniquely placed to understand the challenges that these businesses face and to open doors that they themselves found closed when they launched their own business. They remain focused on social impact initiatives that support women and on magnifying their efforts through the SHECAN Professional Development Fund each year. “As a Black woman in business, in an industry not known for its diversity, I know how hard so many have to work to get their foot in the door and we hope to pass on opportunities for those striving to become successful in their own ventures,” states Andréa. Robin adds, “Study after study has shown where economic stimulus should be injected into the economy and where it will thrive and we are proud that we can empower women entrepreneurs.“
The #SHECANThrive2020 class of grant winners include:
- Femly, Founded by Arion K. Long
- Your Floral Matters LLC, Founded by Jeanna C. Bailey
- COOL Creative, Inc., Founded by Johanne P. Pradel
- Davis, Davis & Harmon LLC, Founded by Chanel Davis
- Frères Branchiaux Candle Co., Founded by Celena Gill and her three sons
- Black Vines, Founded in 2011 by Fern Stroud
- Stanton and Worthy, LLC, Founded by Nicole Stanton and Shannon C. Worthy
- Goshen School of Cosmetology, Founded by LaTonya Williams Bradley
- Pretty Please Teethers, Founded by Kelli M. Ulrey
- Urban Enterprise Solutions, LLC (DBA; Nail Bytes), Founded by Valnedra J. Rosser
- Detroit Dough, Founded by Victoria Washington and Autumn Kyles
- Shall We Wine, Founded by Regine Rousseau
- Harlem Cycle, Founded by Tammeca Rochester
- Barber Therapy & Associates, Founded by Sherille D. Barber
- Supreme Burger, Franchised by Quiana M. Shamsid-Deen
A further round of grantees will be announced in February 2021. The third vintage of the SHECAN Fund #YesSHECAN2021 will be open to ALL Professional Women and opens on March 8th in honor of International Women’s Day.
For more information, please visit https://www.mcbridesisters.com/Our-Story/SHE-CAN.