Prosper, a Birmingham-based nonprofit launched Operation: Backing Black Businesses, an initiative connecting Black entrepreneurs and business owners in the Birmingham area to the resources they need to thrive. Keep reading for all you need to know about Prosper and its newest initiative.
Operation: Backing Black Businesses
In an effort to connect Birmingham entrepreneurs to resources, Operation: Backing Black Businesses (OBBB) aims to promote equitable entrepreneurship and support Black-owned businesses in The Magic City.
This initiative includes:
- Nonprofit organizations in the Birmingham metro area
- Assistance with business planning and identifying capital for entrepreneurs
- An opportunity to elevate Black-owned businesses
The event sought to answer how Birmingham businesses can work together to create a fruitful and inclusive economy. To promote OBBB, the launch event included a panel of local business leaders, entrepreneurs and the Prosper team.
The panel was moderated by CEO of LRY Media Group Rashada LeRoy and the featured panelists included:
- Victor Brown, partner of Birmingham Business Alliance
- Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop, Senior V.P., Hope Credit Union
- Clem and Tannesha Summers, owners of Naughty but Nice Kettle Corn, Co.
- Del Smith | CEO of Acclinate
Historically, Black entrepreneurs have not been offered the same opportunities for growth or success as their counterparts. Prosper’s Operation: Backing Black Businesses initiative serves as another step toward progress.
“When we’re thinking about Black-owned businesses, we’re thinking about helping and supporting a group of incredible leaders and entreprenuers who are also part of a larger story in which we spent years denying opportunities.”JW Carpenter, President
Operation: Backing Black Businesses ecosystem report
This initiative includes an ecosystem report made up of supporting organizations that create economic development initiatives, ultimately helping the city to become more equitable and prosperous. This report will be used by Prosper to identify ways to support Black-owned businesses in Birmingham.
The full ecosystem report is available for download on Prosper’s website.
Prosper seeks to connect community organizations to increase economic growth. Their primary focus areas include job creation, preparation and access. As a catalyst for growth and economic development, Prosper’s OBBB initiative aligns with their core values and passion for highlighting Black-owned businesses in The Magic City.
“Prosper is long-term, data-driven effort to make sure we have the impact we want on this city. We arm ourselves with this information so we can move forward in a collaborative way, to make sure everyone gets a seat at the table and everyone is growing together.”JW Carpenter, President
In addition, Prosper launched an RFP to advance economic resiliency and mobility in Birmingham through Operation: Backing Black Businesses. The RFP seeks proposals to grant funds to any firm, corporation, or other business entity, public or private, that will work to promote equitable economic development in the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County.