A new program that will benefit Garden State entrepreneurs says that it will address a long-standing issue for Black and brown business owners — a lack of access to funding.
Despite raking in $700 billion last year, businesses founded by Black and brown entrepreneurs don’t have access to capital the same way non-minority owned companies do, according to a report by Vogue Business. Only about 1% of venture capital dollars go to Black and brown founders, the report said. On top of that, minority-owned companies have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Ernst and Young (EY), a global professional services company, announced Monday a program designed to buck this trend: the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network.
Twenty New Jersey companies have been selected to participate in the program,.
“Nearly one in three small businesses in New Jersey is minority-owned. The economic impact of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs is significant, but they don’t receive the support needed to grow and scale,” said Anthony Sgammato, EY Iselin Office Managing Partner.
Participants will join a business growth program, which includes a class-based setting and learning materials ready on-demand; access to webcasts featuring business leaders; and more, according to the company.
The program lasts for a full year and each company’s curriculum is curated to meet the individual firm’s needs and maturity, EY said. Entrepreneurs will have access to mentors and skill-based training, the company said.
An EY spokesperson declined to say how much money the company would be investing in the program.
“Minority entrepreneurs receive so little support, even though they show immense revenue potential. But closing this gap requires more than capital alone,” said Nit Reeder, Entrepreneurs Access Network Program Director. “EAN is not a ‘fund and forget’ program. Our curriculum provides tools and access to an ecosystem.”
The 20 New Jersey participants include:
- BKW Transformation Group, a consulting firm in Piscataway.
- BoomerTechnologyGroup.com, an IT consulting group in New Brunswick.
- Custom Design Innovations, LLC
- DGX Security, a security company in Jersey City.
- Diverse & Engaged, a consulting and brand management company.
- EJE Travel Retail, a duty and tax-free speciality retail shop.
- Fitness Compulsion, a personal fitness center in Madison.
- Fria, LLC
- Fusionworks Americas
- InCharged, a cell phone charging station company in Newark.
- Lotus Connect LLC, a medical supply brokerage and distribution company in Hoboken.
- Mr. Cory’s Cookies, a bakery in Englewood.
- Pawtanicals LLC, self-service pet wash facility in North Bergen.
- Qunnections Management Group,LLC, a construction company in Newark.
- RoboBurger Inc., a company that manufactured a robotic burger vending machine in Jersey City.
- Senor Sangria, an online wine retailer.
- Stealth Bros & Co, a luxury dopp kit company.
- Technology Concepts Group International, a communications company in Somerset.
- Tene Nicole, Marketing and Public Relations, a marketing and PR firm.
- US Fresh Corporation, a produce market company.
To learn more about the Entrepreneurs Access Network, click here.
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