American Express has revealed the 100 Black women entrepreneurs selected for its “100 for 100” programme, which will provide each with grants of $25,000 and 100 days of business resources.
The company will also provide the awardees with business education, mentorship, marketing, virtual networking, WorkSpaces by Hilton hotel reservation credits and more.
American Express created this programme in partnership with IFundWomen of Colour, the leading platform for women of colour to raise capital, to support Black women entrepreneurs as they work to jump start and grow their business ventures.
The initiative is part of American Express’ recently announced $1 billion action plan to enhance diverse representation and promote equal opportunities for its colleagues, customers and communities.
Remarkable grown before Covid-19
Prior to the pandemic, Black-women-owned businesses were growing at unprecedented rates yet still making less revenue than their counterparts.
In fact, according to last year’s State of Women-Owned Business report, commissioned by American Express, Black, women entrepreneurs were founding 763 new businesses every day – making them the fastest growing entrepreneur group in America.
Yet, they still do not have equal access to the resources they need to grow and be successful.
The awardees are true innovators
Clayton Ruebensaal, EVP Global B2B Marketing, American Express, said:
“The Black women entrepreneurs selected for the programme have created many types of innovative, early-stage businesses across the country, inspiring and carving new paths for others to follow.
“Their business plans demonstrate that great ideas often come out in times of hardship, and American Express is committed to continuing to back small businesses and advance equal opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly during these challenging times.”
The awards make a crucial difference
Karen Cahn, Founder and CEO of IFundWomen, said:
“Through our years of experience with businesses in need of funding, we have found $25,000 can truly change the trajectory of an emerging business. It could be the difference between one month of rent or five months, between being able to develop a decent prototype or a prototype that’s really not-so-great, and between doing real consumer testing or no testing at all.