FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA (October 24, 2022) – The Southwest Virginia Diverse Regional Chamber of Commerce (SWVA) today announced a partnership with Operation HOPE’s national One Million Black Business Initiative (1MBB). The SWVA Chamber’s commitment includes aiding at least 100 new Black businesses through the program. Operation Hope is one of the leading financial education and economic empowerment groups serving diverse communities across the US.
The SWVA Chamber is a Social Enterprise uniting the community, merchants, and Virginia legislators across 25 counties and 7 cities of the southwest Virginia region in driving socioeconomic growth and social equity. The chamber’s mission is to serve, support and advocate for the diverse, Black-owned, Hispanic-owned, Asian-owned, LBGTQ+IA-owned, Veteran-owned and Women-owned small businesses in their community. The organization also promotes and assists in procurement opportunities, business development strategies, increasing operating capacity and other economic assets while also striving to ensure economic fairness and equity for all.
Through 1MBB, the SWVA will help ensure that their community members who are aspiring business owners have access to resources and capital to successfully start and sustain their endeavors. The chamber will host an invitation only event on November 1, 2022, to discuss addressing diverse economic empowerment in the southwest Virginia region.
“Operation HOPE’s 1MBB initiative is not just creating new small businesses, we are also providing diverse entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources they need to be competitive within the market,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman & CEO, John Hope Bryant. “Along with the long-term support of partners like Shopify, HOPE is investing in people and communities through education, training, and access to resources. The SW Virginia Chamber’s support will help us accelerate this bold initiative and build more Black businesses by 2030.”
The 1MBB movement is part of Operation HOPE’s broader mission to promote financial inclusion and dignity, aimed at empowering the underserved in America. Through this type of strategic programming, Operation HOPE has shifted the status quo for a diverse group of low to moderate-income Americans, putting entrepreneurship within reach.
“Operation HOPE’s 1MBB initiative aligns with our mission to support economic development and wealth distribution for diverse businesses in the southwest Virginia region,” said Michael Anderson, Public Relations Officer, SWVA Diverse Chamber. “Together, we will ensure our members have a voice, a seat at the table, and a chance to lead change that makes our communities stronger.”
Virginia’s nearly 750,000 small businesses employ 1.5 million people, which amounts to nearly half of the state’s private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Through the 1MBB initiative, the SWVA Chamber can provide aspiring Black business owners with top-of-the-line coaching and educational resources to create, grow and expand their businesses for free.
Launched in October 2020 with founding partner Shopify, 1MBB aims to remove traditional hurdles to Black entrepreneurship and encourage more aspiring Black business owners to start – and scale – by providing them with the tools, resources, and education needed to succeed. To level the playing field, 1MBB will focus on critical tools for business growth such as technology and resources, educational programs, and the opportunity to access capital. Through this program, Black business owners can sign up for Operation HOPE’s award-winning model of community uplift, financial literacy and education, with access to tailored tools and resources upon graduation. To learn more about 1MBB or to get your business started, visit HOPE1mbb.org.
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 the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our 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. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow the HOPE conversation onTwitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Lalohni Campbell, for Operation HOPE Jessica Flood, SWVA Diverse Chamber of Commerce