For community members looking to start or grow their e-commerce business, Operation HOPE and Shopify are partnering to host a panel of ATL’s leading e-commerce experts and over 50 Black-owned vendors built on Shopify.
ATLANTA (July 07, 2023) – Operation HOPE’s 1 Million Black Businesses (1MBB) Initiative today announced they are partnering with Shopify to host “Shop & Learn with Shopify: A Vender Expo Experience.” The expo experience will be take place on Saturday, July 8 from 12 – 3pm EDT at the New Black Wall Street Mall in Stonecrest, GA.
The Vendor Expo Experience will feature a panel of Atlanta’s leading e-commerce experts and over 50 Black-owned vendors that were built on Shopify. The keynote speakers include Marlon Watts and Nicholas Clark, Shopify experts and owners of WRLD INVSN – a popular t-shirt business that has generated over $15 million in sales. Other panelists include Glenn Wiggins, CEO/Management of GLAD WE MET, Latoya Forever, CEO/Management of Leisure Forever, and Nick Mitchell, CEO/Management of FRESH KICKZ MARKET.
For community members looking to start or grow their e-commerce business, admission into the expo is free.
Operation HOPE and Shopify are also providing free vendor space for any Black-owned business interested in displaying their products to shoppers.
“Our 1MBB initiative to date has supported over a quarter of a million businesses, which accounts for nearly 5% of all Black owned businesses in the US,” said Operation HOPE Chairman, Founder, and CEO John Hope Bryant. “Our partnership with Spotify and community events like our panel and vendor experience have helped to make this vision possible as we work to start, grow, and scale 1 million Black businesses by 2030.”
Operation HOPE has over 290,000 Black-owned businesses signed up, engaged and being supported by the 1MBB initiative since 2020. With the support of financial partners, 1MBB has also secured over $26 Million dollars in small business loans to 369 Black businesses across the country. This includes e-commerce retailers who have leveraged the Shopify platform to reach new customers online. In addition to Shopify, program partners include the U.S. Small Business Administration, Truist, Wells Fargo, and the NFL, to name a few.
As 1MBB continues to expand, more Black entrepreneurs will be equipped with the tools and resources needed to create, scale and sustain their enterprise. The initiative is aligned with Operation HOPE’s broader mission to promote financial inclusion and dignity, aimed at empowering the underserved of America.
Launched in October 2020 with the support of founding partner Shopify, 1MBB aims to remove traditional hurdles to for aspiring Black business owners. Through ongoing partnerships, including the support of the US Small Business Administration, Truist, Wells Fargo, and the NFL, 1MBB will continue to offer tools for business growth such as technology and resources, educational programs, and funding. To learn more about 1MBB, 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: OperationHOPE.org. Follow the HOPE conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.