Walker’s Legacy—a digital platform for underrepresented women entrepreneurs—was just awarded $400,000 by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to empower women leading businesses across the country.
The award is part of a roughly $1 million Global Minority Women’s Economic Empowerment grant dedicated to advancing diverse women-owned businesses. Another $400,000 was awarded to El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The organization will use the funding to create programming catered to women of color including entrepreneurship boot camps, an online accelerator, business and technical workshops, masterclasses and pitch competitions.
“Minority women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs. While many women are making tremendous strides in the business world, they still face obstacles as entrepreneurs,” said MBDA National Director Henry Childs, II in a press release.
Black and Latinx women are starting businesses at a faster rate than their white counterparts, according to census data. Minority women account for nearly half—44 percent—of all women-owned businesses.
Businesses owned by Latinx women are growing most rapidly demonstrating an 87 percent increase between 2007 and 2012, far outpacing the growth of the population in the United States.
“We are proud to continue to advance programming to support such a critical and vital economic community for our nation, multicultural women entrepreneurs,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, founder and CEO of Walker’s Legacy in a statement. “Our partnership with the Minority Business Development Agency allows for us to continue, and more importantly expand this work.”
An estimated 5,824,300 women-of-color-owned businesses employ 2,230,600 people and generate $386.6 billion in revenue, according to the MBDA.
The agency reports women entrepreneurs reinvest about 90 percent of their earnings into their family and back into their communities.
Recipients are part of the new 2018 MBDA Broad Agency Announcement initiative, which is awarding $13 million to 35 projects focused on minority-owned business success.