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Operation HOPE Continues to Fuel Black Business Growth in America

Gaby M. Rojas

Operation HOPE, the nation’s leading non-profit dedicated to financial literacy, announced second quarter impact results from its groundbreaking One Million Black Businesses (1MBB) initiative. Launched in 2020, 1MBB has provided access to an integrated suite of services, knowledge, capital and technology tools needed to launch, sustain, and grow new Black businesses, at no cost to program participants.

Operation HOPE tracks and measures the success of the 1MBB Initiative through key performance indicators. To date, Operation HOPE reports that the initiative has supported, engaged and signed up more than 334,000 program participants. Additional impact data includes:*

Operation HOPE’s 1MBB initiative has supported, engaged and signed up more than 334,000 program participants to date.

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  • 35 Community Stakeholder Coalition partners
  • 50,175 Community Stakeholder Partner Commitments
  • 270,898 Shopify eCommerce platform businesses supported and engaged
  • 13,080 HOPE Inside 1MBB businesses registered
  • $26,230,275 committed to Small Business Lending

*Operation HOPE Research, June 2023

“The 1MBB Initiative is more than just about creating businesses. It is about breaking down barriers and empowering Black entrepreneurs to build generational wealth,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “Through this initiative, we are nurturing a culture of financial literacy, encouraging smart entrepreneurial financing, and driving long-term economic empowerment.”

In 2023, the 1MBB Initiative was also named one of the winners of Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards. In conjunction with 1MBB HOPE also launched The 1865 Project, an initiative designed to help level the economic playing field for underserved Americans.

Operation HOPE’s 1MBB Initiative stands as a beacon of hope, driving economic development, increasing financial literacy, and building generational wealth for underserved Black communities in America. By empowering Black entrepreneurs and individuals with the knowledge, resources, and support they need, the initiative not only fosters economic growth but also challenges the structural inequalities that have held back communities for far too long. As the 1MBB Initiative continues to make strides in creating one million new Black-owned businesses, it paves the way for a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

As 1MBB continues to grow, the program will continue to leverage the following:

  • Public-Private Partnerships: Operation HOPE collaborates with government agencies, including the Small Business Association (SBA), the Coalition of the Willing, financial institutions, and corporate partners to maximize the reach and impact of the 1MBB Initiative. Public-private partnerships ensure a coordinated approach to addressing economic disparities and create a more robust support system for Black entrepreneurs.
  • Community Engagement: The 1MBB Initiative is deeply rooted in community engagement. By actively involving local organizations and leaders, the initiative tailors its efforts to address specific community needs, ensuring that economic empowerment reaches the grassroots level. Key community stakeholders and 1MBB partners include Shopify, the NFL, Wells Fargo, Nasdaq, Truist, First Horizon Bank, FICO, Uber, Comcast, iHeart Media and Kappa Alpha Psi, to name a few. In partnership with other resource partners, HOPE is also currently engaged in cities across multiple states including California, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas.

The wealth gap in the U.S. is staggering and felt most acutely within communities of color. According to a recent Bloomberg report, eight of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months. 1MBB acknowledges the urgency of addressing these barriers to unleash the potential of Black entrepreneurship fully. Through strategic partnerships, 1MBB is committed to implementing strategies that level the playing field and foster a supportive ecosystem for minority-owned start-ups. To learn more about 1MBB visit HOPE1mbb.org.

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