Serving as the leading bank of Florida A&M University (FAMU) , The Wells Fargo Foundation has placed a generous contribution to spur women and minority-owned businesses.
The $100,000 grant is a part of Wells Fargo’s continued partnership with FAMU to commit a total of $500,000 across Orlando and Tallahassee, FL. The funds will back the creation of a small business incubator and support the project’s staff operations, business development, and expansions goals.
“As FAMU’s official bank, we are pleased to see Wells Fargo stepping up its commitment to small business development. This initiative will catalyze entrepreneurship and reap dividends for years to come,” says FAMU President Larry Robinson in an official press release from the FAMU Forward.
The incubator will sow seeds of promise for many minority businesses who participate. In an interview with Tallahassee Democrat, Shawnta S. Friday-Stroud- vice president for University Advancement and director of the FAMU Foundation- noted incubators can be a lifeline for rising entrepreneurs and prevent their start-ups from falling into an unwarranted statistic.
“For minorities, the numbers are even more daunting,” Friday says. “Eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months.”
“But there is good news. Studies show that the five-year survival rate for incubated ventures is 87%. That’s why we are here today. We want to invest in the dreams of entrepreneurs,” Friday continues.
Alongside the grant that will be allocated to support the incubator, Wells Fargo will also be distributing funds to support the FAMU School of Business and Industry. The grant will advance hiring initiatives for a program manager to oversee operations of the incubator and modernize an existing location for entrepreneurs to call home. The remaining funds will support future marketing and promotions throughout the development of the project.
The highly anticipated incubator will be located in the FAMU Small Business Development Center and is scheduled to launch at the beginning of 2022.