Ten small business owners were selected
By means of
Progressive Insurance has announced the recipients of its 2023 Driving Small Business Forward grant program. In partnership with Hello Alice, this initiative aims to support Black entrepreneurs in their small business endeavors.
Each of the 10 selected small business owners was awarded a $25,000 grant, specifically earmarked for the purchase of a commercial vehicle to improve their business operations.
The challenge facing Black entrepreneurs
According to McKinsey & Company, while 20% of Black Americans start businesses, only 4% of these businesses successfully navigate the initial stages.
Black entrepreneurs often face unique challenges, including difficulties with debt, raising capital, and a lack of supportive relationships within the business community. Recognizing these barriers, Progressive intends to provide significant funding to empower Black entrepreneurs in their pursuit of success, the insurer said.
Supporting Black entrepreneurs
“At Progressive, we celebrate all business owners, however we recognize that Black business owners still face unique challenges,” said Karen Bailo, president of commercial lines of Progressive Insurance. “For the past two years, the Driving Small Business Forward grant program has been one of the ways we have supported entrepreneurs on their small business journey, and we look forward to seeing how this grant will help these deserving receive the continuation of their work in the service of the community. .”
The 2023 Driving Small Business Forward grant program has identified 10 recipients. Their selection is based on strong applications that highlight the positive influence their businesses have on their local communities. The major recipients are:
- Gerald Gray, owner of DG Visionaries in Indianapolis
- Elizabeth Abunaw, owner of Forty Acres Fresh Market in Chicago
- Theodore Smith, owner of Golfing for Excellence in Washington, DC
- first mohammed, owner of Kalsoni in Minneapolis
- Shenicia Barnes, owner of Kidz on Wheelz LLC in Mansfield, Texas
- Sean Morrison, owner of Lets Ryde NC in Raleigh, NC
- Carmel Mims, owner of Pet Porter Pals in Pasadena, Calif.
- Robert Randolph, owner of Rob Ran Creative Services in Milwaukee, Wis.
- AS Alecia Gabriel and Deirdre Roberson, co-owner of The Lab Drawer in Detroit
- We are Moss, owner of Tidy Pets Pooper Scoopers in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Abunaw, owner of Forty Acres Fresh Market in Chicago, founded his business with a vision to address resource and infrastructure disparities in predominantly Black communities. Through citywide delivery services, pop-up produce markets in community spaces, and an upcoming brick-and-mortar store, Abunaw aims to provide affordable, healthy food options. which is easily accessible to all individuals.
Barnes, owner of Kidz on Wheelz LLC in Mansfield, Texas, has developed a door-to-door transportation service for children ages four to 18. This service offers parents a safe and reliable means of transportation for their children, especially benefiting single parents who may be facing transportation challenges.
Collaboration with Hello Alice
To administer the grant program, Progressive partnered with Hello Alice, a business accelerator and financial technology organization that helps more than one million small businesses access capital. Hello Alice is dedicated to promoting financial fairness to small businesses and expresses pride in supporting Black-owned businesses, recognizing their importance to our economy and the future of the country.
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