A collective of southern HBCUs has announced that they’re partnering with major corporations for a historic small business investment opportunity in the “deep south” of the United States.
In a press release statement, it was announced that Goldman Sachs — through their 10,000 Small Businesses program — is partnering with Hope Enterprise Corporation, seven cities, and nine southern HBCUs to launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (DSEMC), with a commitment of up to $130 million. The DSEMC invests in the power of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Deep South, particularly those from underserved and under-resourced communities.
“For centuries, racism and economic inequality has thwarted human and economic potential in the Deep South, but our story doesn’t end there,” said HOPE CEO Bill Bynum, in the press release statement. “Equipped with opportunity and the right tools, people of this region can accomplish anything. Fueled by their resilience, and harnessing the collective resources of DSEMC, together we will knock down the barriers facing underserved businesses and communities in a way that has never been done before. The collaborative will help build a more inclusive economy that will yield benefits now and for future generations.”
What’s more, the DSEMC is projected to serve 4,000-5,000 businesses and support 30,000 employees and their family members while improving conditions in Deep South communities to further Black economic mobility.
The participating southern HBCUs are Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Southern University and A&M College, Xavier University, Dillard University, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and LeMoyne-Owen College.