According to a recent survey by payment technology firm Visa, 71 percent of Black women business owners in America believe they won't survive another year under the present pandemic circumstances.
To deal with this, the Visa She's Next Grant Program, which was revealed on March 4, will offer qualifying Black women-owned companies in six major U.S. cities a chance to receive one of 60 $10,000 grants as well as a one-year IFundWomen coaching membership.
Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, D.C. will each have ten grant winners. The initiative aims to meet the needs of urban entrepreneurs in U.S. cities with the largest concentration of Black-owned companies and Black women entrepreneurs who face obstacles.
Some of the program's requirements include becoming a Black-owned company with a minimum annual turnover of $24,000 or higher and has been running in certain cities for at least two years. The application period is now available and will close on April 16th.
In a press release, Kimberly Lawrence, head of Visa in the United States, said, "The pandemic has impacted all small businesses—but those owned by women and people of color have been particularly affected." “Visa seeks to make a real impact, efficiently, for the people and business owners who need it most, through this hyperlocal emphasis on some of the hardest-hit cities. ”
This new gesture is part of a $1 million commitment from Visa, which comes on the heels of other initiatives by the organization to support Black women entrepreneurs. Visa gave 25 Black women small business owners $10,000 grants and a year of coaching services in June. In April 2020, it distributed $10,000 grants to four women-led small enterprises in the United States that were affected by COVID-19.
The new initiative arrives as Black-owned companies begin to play an important role in American communities, with women leading more than a third of them. This is the highest percentage of any race or ethnic group, according to reports. Despite their economic contributions, Black women business owners face challenges such as a lack of resources, a lack of cash flow, and other obstacles.
Furthermore, Visa has expanded its relationship with Black Girl Ventures to recognize the urgent technical needs of small companies and provide them with the goods and education they need to succeed.
Black Girls Ventures Founder Shelly Bell said, "We are proud to work with Visa to assist these founders and offer a megaphone to each community's most urgent needs." “While the Black Lives Matter campaign increased customer support for these companies, the movement would aim to financially and spiritually uplift these communities.”