Operation HOPE Announces Expansion of Its Award-Winning One Million Black Businesses Initiative at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

PR Newswire
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 10:00pm UTC

Operation HOPE Announces Expansion of Its Award-Winning One Million Black Businesses Initiative at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

PR Newswire

"1MBB Next Gen" Commitment to Action leverages HBCUs as a pipeline to successfully identify and nurture 5,000 aspiring Black entrepreneurs

Groundbreaking 1MBB initiative aims to bolster U.S. small business ownership by increasing access to resources such as capital, technology and mentorship

ATLANTA, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Operation HOPE today announced a "Commitment to Action" at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. The commitment will expand its groundbreaking 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative (1MBB) with specific targets for college students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The news was shared at the CGI 2023 Meeting in New York City.

“1MBB Next Gen” Commitment to Action leverages HBCUs as a pipeline to nurture 5,000 aspiring Black entrepreneurs

A Commitment to Action—the defining feature of CGI—is a plan for addressing a significant global challenge. As an extension of 1MBB, HOPE established the "1MBB Next Gen" program, which will leverage the reach and influence of HBCUs to establish a pipeline that develops, trains and empowers the next generation of small business owners. This includes creating an additional 5,000 aspiring entrepreneurs within the next five years. To date, 1MBB has engaged more than 360,000 Black businesses.

"This 1MBB process has revealed that there's an incredible entrepreneurial and aspirational energy being driven by young Black men and women throughout America, largely nurtured by the HBCU community," said John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO. "Recognizing that the next Steve Jobs could be within the walls of these institutions, we wanted to rewrite the storyline by finding a way to nurture and encourage young innovators."

Initiated in 2020, in the wake of America's social justice reckoning following the murder of George Floyd, 1MBB's mission is to tackle barriers to success for many Black small business owners by accelerating access to critical resources such as capital, technology, mentorship and networking. [Watch 1MBB Success Stories Here

To help reach 1MBB's ultimate goal, Operation HOPE is also currently working with various communities and partners, including founding partner Shopify, which committed in-kind and financial support totaling $130 million. 1MBB combines the high-touch training and coaching of Operation HOPE with the high-tech expertise of Shopify's digital business-in-a-box platform to help level the playing field. 

In addition to HBCUs and Shopify, the program established the 'Coalition of the Willing' – a national alliance comprised of faith-based groups, nonprofits and various municipalities— to amplify and accelerate 1MBB's impact. This includes members of the "Divine Nine," the National Pan-Hellenic Council's umbrella organization comprised of historically black fraternities and sororities and their alumni, among others.

Operation HOPE has been affiliated with CGI since 2015, with Bryant serving as a founding member. Read the full letter to the CGI Community here.

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Founded by President Bill Clinton in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative is a community of doers representing a broad cross-section of society and dedicated to the idea that we can accomplish more together than we can apart. Through CGI's unique model, more than 9,000 organizations have launched more than 3,900 Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable projects and programs.

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 its award-winning community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $4 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 Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Award for driving entrepreneurship as well as its eighth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability from the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. This year, HOPE also launched The 1865 Project, an initiative designed to help level the economic playing field for underserved Americans. For more information: OperationHOPE.org. Join the conversation on social media at @operationHOPE.

Lalohni Campbell, Per/Se Media Group

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SOURCE Operation HOPE, Inc.