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Visa grant program to boost Black women-owned businesses in Detroit

visa-grant-program-to-boost-black-women-owned-businesses-in-detroit

Visa on Thursday announced a program aimed at empowering black women owned businesses in six cities across the country, including Detroit.

As part of the effort, Visa is providing $ 1 million to expand its grant and mentoring program to include black women entrepreneurs in the city and five other companies with a high concentration of black-owned businesses: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, DC

Grant applications will open the Thursday before International Women’s Day on Monday, the company said in a statement.

These cities are also running a multi-million dollar marketing campaign to encourage customers to support black and female entrepreneurs, according to the press release.

“The pandemic has affected all small businesses – but those run by women and people of color are disproportionately affected,” said Kimberly Lawrence, US director of Visa. “With this hyperlocal focus on some of the hardest hit cities, Visa aims to quickly make a meaningful difference to the communities and their business owners who need it most.”

In a new partnership with Black Girl Ventures, Visa will “work with local organizations and influencers to reach out to small businesses, identify their most pressing technology needs, and provide them with the products and training they need to be successful,” the said Companies.

“Black Girl Ventures is proud to partner with Visa to not only provide financial aid to these entrepreneurs, but also to provide a megaphone for the most pressing needs of every community,” said Shelly Bell, the group’s founder. “As the Black Lives Matter movement increased consumer support for these businesses, the movement must continue to empower these neighborhoods financially and spiritually.”

The initiative builds on another Visa initiative, She’s Next, aimed at small women-owned businesses.

A report by Visa this month also found that 71% of businesses owned by black women estimate they cannot survive another year in pandemic conditions.

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Dusty Kennedy