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800 Initiative results promising
In Memphis, effort to boost businesses of color gains momentum
Posted on 07/29/2019
(Annie E. Casey Foundation) - In May 2018, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced an ambitious plan to help 800 of the city’s burgeoning black-owned businesses grow their revenue by $50 million by 2023.

Called the 800 Initiative, the program received an initial $500,000 allocation from the city’s 2018–19 budget and a $1 million commitment from local industry over four years to provide technical assistance, grants and loans to help entrepreneurs bring their operations to scale.

So far, the results are promising.

In just over a year, 800 Initiative partners — including StartCo and Epicenter, two small business hubs, and Christian Brothers University — helped more than 200 African-American business owners bring in a combined total of nearly $11 million in new revenue. They also raised an additional $3.5 million to help seed a business loan fund.

Click here to read the rest of the story from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
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