Fast Company Awards Operation HOPE’s 1 Million Black Business Initiative with ‘World Changing Ideas’ Award

Innovative program continues to create new Black-owned businesses by providing tools and resources in historically underserved communities

ATLANTA (May 2, 2023) – Operation HOPE, the nation’s leading non-profit in financial literacy and economic inclusion, today announced that its 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative (1MBB) has been named the winner of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Award in the Enduring Impact category. The World Changing Ideas awards honor products, concepts, companies, policies, and designs that are pursuing innovation for good.

Launched in partnership with Shopify, 1MBB helps Black entrepreneurs and existing Black business owners acquire the knowledge, skills and access to resources required to start, scale up and grow a business at no cost. A panel of judges selected the 1MBB for its impact, program design, scalability and ingenuity from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants. Slated to continue until 2030, 1MBB has supported nearly 200,000 Black businesses to date.

Through its HOPE Inside network and Coalition of the Willing partners, 1MBB participants are better positioned to thrive in both physical locations and through eCommerce activities. In addition to Shopify, key partners include the U.S. Small Business Administration, Truist, First Horizon, Wells Fargo, the NFL, MasterCard, Comcast, iHeart Radio, Aprio, The Salvation Army, as well as several historically Black colleges and Universities (HBCUs), churches, municipalities and members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, to name a few.

The 1MBB movement is part of Operation HOPE’s broader mission to promote financial inclusion and dignity, aimed at empowering underserved Americans. The 1MBB initiative was born following the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Operation HOPE is honored to be recognized by Fast Company for creating an idea that can— and will –  change the world for the better,” said John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO. “Through 1MBB, we are devising new ways to help Black business owners defy the odds, improve their overall financial wellness and ultimately build generational wealth. It’s no small task, but the data shows that we are making a true impact.”

“At Operation HOPE, our team includes tirelessly persistent problem solvers who are committed to addressing the most urgent challenges in our communities,” said Lance Triggs, SVP, Operation HOPE. “We want to make the world more equitable, make access to business resources more accessible and illuminate a path to a better future for those who have historically been underserved.”

Despite the negative impacts of the pandemic and recent social unrest, research from the latest HOPE index reveals that Black entrepreneurs remain optimistic. Through the 1MBB initiative, barriers to business success such as mentorship, risk tolerance, lack of technological innovation/digital strategies, and limited access to capital have proven to improve outcomes. For more information about 1MBB, including how to register, click here.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for everyone—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Operation HOPE recently received its eighth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability from the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Join the conversation on social media at @operationHOPE.

About Shopify

Shopify is a leading global commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market, and manage a retail business of any size. Shopify makes commerce better for everyone with a platform and services that are engineered for reliability while delivering a better shopping experience for consumers everywhere. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify powers over one million businesses in more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Allbirds, Gymshark, Heinz, Staples, and many more. For more information, visit



Lalohni Campbell


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