What is the name of your organization?
Black Business Community Development Corporation
Is your organization registered as 501(c)(3) status with the IRS?
In what city, town, or region and state is your organization headquartered?Orlando, FL, USA
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address? [Select up to 2]
What is the name of your solution?
BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative
What is your solution?
In the state of Florida, many Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners, are first-generation business owners. This means that their management skill sets tend to be weaker, unfortunately making them less qualified for mainstream bank loans. So, the Black Business Community Development Corporation (BBCDC) partnered with the Black Business Invest Fund (BBIF) to design BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative. The Business Resiliency Initiative uses a fully human-centered design that was tailored to the specific needs of the client's financial status, such as their credit score, business equity, personal equity, business cash flow, etc. This Initiative also utilizes technology platforms, such as Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity and Kauffman FastTrac, alongside one-on-one counseling to develop and strengthen BIPOC business owners' management capacity and leadership. Thus, allowing for BIPOC business owners to properly grow and scale their businesses and become more eligible to receive mainstream bank loans.
Film your elevator pitch.
Describe the core technology that powers your solution.
Our organization created BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative as a solution to challenges, such as financial readiness and internal financial health that disproportionately and negatively affect Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses. BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative provides BIPOC business owners with specialized training in financial management capacity building to increase the BIPOC businesses financial deficits thus allowing for the business owners to grow and scale their businesses and become more eligible for loan capital. Alongside these financial services, our Initiative is powered by core technological platforms called Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity, and Kauffman FastTrac. Growth Wheel is an on-line cloud-based data collection software used to report, track, update, and measure client progress via input of client monthly financial data. Initiate Prosperity is an online small business resource with over 100 interactive tools, templates, videos, and guides. Initiate Prosperity is part of BBIF’s advisory/coaching services to assist entrepreneurs to strengthen their financial acumen and management skills to grow and scale their businesses. Our third platform, Kauffman FastTrac, is an interactive course designed to support entrepreneurs as they start a business and begin their journey to success. The immersive course offers information, tips, exercises, and tools to help makers, doers, and dreamers develop their business ideas.
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?
A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:
Who does your solution serve, including demographics, and how does the solution impact their lives?
The demographics of the community that our organization serves consist mostly of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) residents, with the largest demographic being Black. And an analysis of our industry reveals that Florida has the second-most Black-owned businesses in the country, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce. According to the Chamber, there are more than 250,000 Black-owned businesses in Florida, and they collectively employ 77,136 Floridians and represent an annual payroll of $2.63 billion.
However, in the US, the issue of abject poverty in the African American community is critical and it is decades old. Numerous studies, analyses, white papers, and reports have been produced and continue to be produced over the decades that have documented this issue of poverty, lack of equity/wealth, jobs, services and capital for business formation and expansion; yet the problems or issues remain relatively unresolved/unchanged decades later.
According to an Empowering Black Futures Neighborhood Program report by Fifth Third Bank, East Tampa was a thriving enclave of Black life during segregation, despite grinding poverty for many. One of the few parts of Hillsborough County where African Americans could live, East Tampa was home to Tampa’s largest group of Black residents. It was also a bustling Main Street of Black-owned businesses.
But like many legacy communities, East Tampa suffered three decades of disinvestment. Urban renewal unfolded as desegregation hollowed out the once captive Black consumer market that fueled the growth of Black-owned businesses.
According to Christopher O’Donnell of the Tampa Bay Times, July 12, 2020, in the article, “Even before the pandemic, poverty was a way of life for many Black children in Tampa Bay”, about 20 percent of Hillsborough County children live in poverty, according to U.S. Census data, roughly the same as the average across Florida.
Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.
The BBCDC is the charitable fundraising affiliate of the Black Business Development Fund (BBIF). BBIF is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the state of Florida. The BBCDC works closely in partnership with the BBIF to help close the wealth gap of underserved and minority communities in the state of Florida. The main goal of our organization is to provide fundraising, education, and networking opportunities to develop and support the growth of BIPOC businesses.
Two major challenges that face BIPOC business owners in the state of Florida include 1) Financial Readiness and 2) Internal financial health. Many BIPOC business owners do not have equal access to resources that can provide them with the necessary knowledge to run their businesses in a financially successful and sustainable way. BIPOC business owners are also more likely to be denied loans, therefore less likely to acquire the assets necessary for growing and scaling their businesses. Because of this lack of capital and resources, a heavy burden is placed on many BIPOC business owners, causing many of their businesses to never see any impactful revenue growth, thus often leading to many BIPOC business owners closing their businesses permanently.
BBCDC addresses these two challenges by partnering with BBIF and creating the BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative. This Initiative is an innovative and forward-thinking solution that utilizes virtual technology platforms, such as Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity and Kauffman FastTrac, to provide undercapitalized BIPOC business owners in the state of Florida with access to specialized financial management training.
What is your theory of change?
Numerous customer surveys performed by the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) reveals that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses need (1) capital that is low cost and flexibly structured, (2) assistance to develop and scale up businesses, and (3) grant/equity funds. BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative utilized by our technology platforms, such as Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity, and Kauffman FastTrac, is well positioned to address these identified customer needs.
Our Theory of Change follows starts with our organization creating an activity provided through our Business Resiliency Initiative, which also utilizes technology platforms of Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity, and FastTrac. The output of this activity is to provide BIPOC business owners with loans, financial education, and financial management capacity building:
-Short term output- The BIPOC business owner/customer will see their business' financial progress, as well as receive free financial training services. The business owner will also receive free continual access to online learning tools and platforms.
-Medium term output: With guidance and counseling from our program's staff, consultants, and experts, the BIPOC business owner/customer will learn how to financially manage their business.
-Long term output: BIPOC business owner/customer can be qualified for a mainstream business loan, has grown and scaled their business, and achieved financial stability and business sustainability. The client is now able to stay in business with positively impactful revenue and income.
The overall outcome is that the BIPOC business owner will be able to manage their business and have business growth and sustainability successfully and financially.
What is your solution’s stage of development?Scale: a sustainable product, service or business model that is active in multiple communities, which is capable of continuous scaling, focusing on increased efficiency.
What is your organization’s stage of development?Scale: A sustainable organization actively working in several communities that is capable of continuous scaling and has a proven track record, earns revenue, and is focused on increased efficiency within its operations.
How many small businesses does your solution currently serve?
BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative alongside the platforms Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity and Kauffman FastTrac, currently (2023) serve a total of 38 Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners.
The number of BIPOC business owners that BBIF's Business Resiliency Initiative will serve in one year (2024) is 75. And the number of BIPOC business owners estimated to be served in five years (2028) is 375.
How do you define the community you serve, and who are its stakeholders?
Our community consists of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) citizens that tend to be underserved and unbanked. Our organization's stakeholders are financial institutions like Wells Fargo, Fairwinds Credit Union, T.D. Bank, and South State Bank. As well as local stakeholders such as the City of Orlando and the Orange County government. Our organization's key decision makers are our President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Executive Director, and Board of Directors, as well as various community members.
How do you build trust within the community your organization serves and among small business owners?
We build trust within the community that we serve and among small business owners through various community outreach, communication methods and engagement. Our organization's outreach consists of doing joint events with local partners, such as the City of Orlando, the Orange County government, as well as with the Orlando airport and numerous banks. During community outreach events we also meet with the residents of the community and make them aware of the services that our organization provides. We also talk to business owners during these community outreach events. Some communication methods that we use include sending flyers to our local community partners and announcing events to business owners via our social media and website. We chose these specific strategies because they have effectively worked in allowing our staff members the ability to work closely with BIPOC small business owners and fully understand the needs of the community that we serve.
What are your impact goals for the current year and the next five years and how will you achieve them?
Our impact goals are to continue to help Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners by providing the Business Resiliency Initiative and loan capital to help the BIPOC business owners grow their companies and in turn create additional jobs. In five years (2028), our organization projects to increase our impact goal by more than 50%.
Why are you applying to Truist Foundation Inspire Awards?
We are applying for the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards because a partnership with Truist Foundation and MIT Solve will allow for us to assist more Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses and provide the BIPOC business owners with development services. If awarded this $250,000 grant, our organization will be able to make our Business Resiliency Initiative even more efficient, as well as expand the outreach of our services outside of the state of Florida. This potential partnership with the Truist Foundation will also allow a future exchange of BIPOC business owners/clients being referred between our organization and that of Truist Bank. For example, our organization may be referred over rejected BIPOC business owners/clients from Truist Bank who were not at the needed financial standard to qualify for a loan from Truist Bank. It will be at our organization where we will assist the BIPOC business owner/client in our BBIF’s Business Resiliency Initiative by assisting the client in financial management capacity building by utilizing the technology platforms of Growth Wheel, Initiate Prosperity, and Kauffman FastTrac. Once our organization works with the BIPOC business owner in helping them to grow and scale their business, as well as get the client's business financials up to standard, that same BIPOC business owner may then be referred over to Truist Bank but now qualifiable for a loan at Truist Bank.
In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?
Please explain in more detail here.
We need someone from Truist Foundation to work with our marketing team to offer suggestions and help improve the way we market. This may be done through additional grants alongside the Truist Foundation and MIT Solve; providing consultations to train specific organizational staff. For example, marketing executives may be brought in to work with our marketing team to help our organization develop stronger marketing and branding techniques. We will also need additional support from the Truist Foundation and MIT Solve to support our efforts in product development, such as providing BBIF’s Business Resiliency Initiative with more research and data collection of our customers and their needs. It is only through more data and research that our organization will be able to better understand our clients’ specific needs to get them the necessary resources and training services to financially grow and scale their Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) businesses.