The Foundation for Business Equity Recognizes The First Participating Enterprises In Its Business Equity Initiative (BEI) ProgramMarch 8, 2019
Results Demonstrate Growth In Businesses That Have Faced Systemic Challenges To Scale
BOSTON – March 8, 2019 – The Foundation for Business Equity (FBE), a Boston-based nonprofit working to close the wealth gap, is pleased to recognize the first 10 local enterprises of color that have completed the Business Equity Initiative (BEI) program. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston research, Boston is one of the most unequal metro areas in the United States for inequality of income; for example, the median net worth of Black households in the Greater Boston Region is $8 as compared to $247,500 for whites. BEI was created as one solution to scale up Black and Latinx businesses in order to create stronger businesses, more jobs with family-sustaining wages, and additional wealth for Black and Latinx business owners.
BEI, a program of the Foundation for Business Equity, launched in 2017 and has formed a unique ecosystem of partners that combines the expertise, collective networks and philanthropic goals of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pacesetters Initiative and the Boston Foundation’s Business Equity Fund to help enterprises of color to grow. The Business Equity Fund is providing access to capital for the businesses which have traditionally been constrained by conventional financing practices.
Participating Enterprises receive access to strategic advisors, operational support, growth capital and more. Initial seed funding for BEI was provided by Eastern Bank and in just over one year, the first 10 Participating Enterprises are seeing gains that include:
- $11 million in new business revenue;
- $3 million in newly-procured contracts to Pacesetters suppliers;
- $1.4 million in growth capital invested into these local businesses;
- Growth in their workforce by 88 full-time employees; and
- Partnerships with more than 50 business executives and strategists to create a comprehensive support network.
All of the owners of the Participating Enterprises are enterprises of color and include:
- Catalyst Ventures Development
- Comfort Care Transportation
- DRB Facility Services
- KT&T Distributors
- Lancaster Packaging
- RTD LOGISTICS / SKYCOM COURIER
- The Bay State Banner
- UHM Properties
- Windwalker Group
“If we are going to reverse the growing racial wealth gap and all the issues that come with it, let’s start with securing the Black and Latinx entrepreneurial class as anchors of wealth and job creators in our community,” said Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director of the Foundation for Business Equity. “Having a good strategy and the right tools, and a strong ecosystem in which to execute the strategy, are necessary for these companies to grow. When they do, we address the wealth gap by creating greater Black and Latinx ownership equity in businesses, retaining and growing jobs for minorities, and increasing civic engagement. We’re proud of the goals the Participating Enterprises have set and are achieving, and thank our partners for coming together to address a disparity and make an impact in our local businesses and neighborhoods.”
Anthony Samuels, CEO of DRB Facility Services, a Boston-based provider of corporate janitorial, landscaping and snow removal services in the Northeast, said, “BEI has allowed me to identify the areas where I need to make changes in order to grow. Thanks to the advice and recommendations I’ve received, we are on target to grow revenue by more than 50 percent in 2019.” DRB is also projecting to add more than 180 new employees to its existing 450 employees, most of whom are people of color.
Orlando Watkins, Boston Foundation Vice President for Programs, added, “We know that as these companies grow, they will not only thrive, they will employ more people and build more wealth for people of color. And that will lift everybody up.”
Referring to the Pacesetters Initiative committed to improving supplier diversity, James E. Rooney, president & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber, said, “Together with our Pacesetters and the many business support organizations as our partners, we are creating an ecosystem where minority owned businesses can get off the ground, get connected, grow and keep growing. It is a long-term initiative, but we’re already seeing the impact we can make when the business community comes together to raise the bar.”
In addition to the first graduating cohort, BEI is currently incubating two additional groups of local enterprises of color. To learn more about these organizations, BEI and how to apply for a future cohort or get involved, visit www.easternbank.com/BEI.
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Photo credit: dotgirlphotos.com
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