On November 20th the Department of Housing and Community Development GO Virginia staff administratively approved the “Empowering Black Entrepreneurs Pilot” project application from the Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce (VABCC). The Empowering Black Entrepreneurs (EBE) Business Accelerator Pilot Program explores and addresses critical opportunities and challenges within the Black business community, emphasizing business sustainability, survival, and recovery, particularly in the post-COVID-19 business environment. The accelerator program will provide pragmatic business knowledge, from brand development to effective sales strategies and financial management.
The VABCC has been awarded $98,438 of GO Virginia funds, and is providing $99,738 in match and $57,000 of additional leverage for a total project budget of $255,176. The project will run for one year and will achieve the following metrics:
• 25 entrepreneurs engaged
• 5 new businesses created
• 5 businesses served
• 5 mentors engaged
By promoting growth and sustainability, the EBE Business Accelerator Program aims to reduce the disparity in minority business ownership and stimulate job creation. The expected outcomes include increased profitability for participating businesses, increased diversity in the local economy, increase resiliency for small business owners and reduced wealth inequality.
“We are deeply grateful for the support from GO Virginia,” says President & CEO, Ernisha Hall of the VABCC. “Their substantial contribution will go a long way in bolstering our efforts to provide a robust platform for Black entrepreneurs in Virginia.”
Applications for the program will become available in mid-December 2023, with the first cohort slated to begin in January 2024.