Operation Hope and Shopify team up to create 1 million businesses for blacks in 5 years

Operation Hope and Shopify in a recent announcement said they have teamed up to create 5 million jobs for Blacks over the next five years.

Operation Hope is a leading financial education and economic empowerment group which aims at liberating African American groups from economic disparity. Shopify is a global e-commerce platform that also has a goal of supporting black businesses.

President and CEO of Operation Hope, John Hope Bryant on Tuesday announced the launch of the HOPE One Million New Black Business & Black Entrepreneurship Initiative (1MBB). He said the goal of the initiative is to develop several Black-owned firms across the United States by 2030. To achieve this goal, the organization will work closely with the largest publicly-traded company in Canada, Shopify, estimating $130 million in commitment over the course of five years to support the 1MBB initiative.

“To have Shopify actively supporting the 1MBB Initiative is a true game-changer. Working together, we can scale our business creation platform to help underserved communities and enhance economic prosperity across America,” the organization said in a Tuesday tweet.

Historically, African Americans have faced a long history of systemic racism and racial inequity which has hindered the development of Black communities and businesses across the U.S. According to research by Operation HOPE, 58 percent of Black-owned businesses were either at risk of suffering from low credit scores, income shocks, or low profits due to the impact of the coronavirus in recent months. The number of Black business owners and black workers fell more than 40 percent compared to other racial communities. The coronavirus pandemic has had more impact on Black communities across the U.S.

“At Shopify, we believe more independent voices make commerce better for everyone. That’s why we work to break down the barriers to entrepreneurship every day,” Harley Finkelstein, Shopify President. “By collaborating with Operation HOPE and working together on our shared passion for helping underserved communities succeed, we believe we can help unlock even more economic opportunities for Black business owners across the country, leading to greater choices for shoppers everywhere.”

By teaming up with Shopify, Operation HOPE seeks to help take out the obstacles that Black businesses currently face. The organization also aims to financially support and encourage aspiring and current Black business owners or entrepreneurs by providing them with the resources, tools, and education they may need.

The 1MBB initiative will focus on every possible tool or technique used to build successful businesses such as educational programs, access to capital, technology, and resource.

“Creating generational wealth through the creation of new Black businesses and Black entrepreneurs is a direct gateway to social justice. The creation of ownership, jobs, and opportunity in a generation helps to strengthen democracy and ensure freedom through self-determination. This is empowerment at scale,” said Byrant.

For more information about the 1MBB initiative, visit www.Hope1MBB.org.

About Operation HOPE

Operation HOPE is an advocacy group that advocates for the civil and human rights of American citizens. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has been on a mission to ensure that free enterprise and capitalism are accessible to the underserved, kicking against poverty for low-and moderate-income people across the country.

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