Difference Maker: Boosting Black Business
Category: Black-Owned Businesses,Funding,Investment,Local Author: BCDAlliance Date: 7 months ago Comments: 0

Evanston Police Officer Tosha Wilson had a steady job and a good credit score but could not get a startup loan for her proposed Black-owned business.

This brought about an epiphany: “There is no way that we’re the only people in this situation.”

So, she started helping small Black-owned businesses raise money via a Facebook Group called Boosting Black Business, which chooses a new local business every month to fund.

Wilson asks members to commit to donating $20 a month.

First there was, Chi Fresh, a West Side food co-op, which received $22,000, Wilson said.

In August, the group raised a similar amount for the business she and her partner created: The Laundry Café.

“You come there and you kind of just reinvent yourself while doing laundry,” she said. “I mean, it seems so weird but it’s something we have to do every day, and you spend an average of two hours in the laundromat. Why not find something to get into that heals the soul? I think as a country we need a whole lot of healing.”

This month’s business is Rose Café, an effort by elementary school teachers who are trying to open a book store in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.

Oakland Black Business Fund Launches Investment Platform for Black-Owned Businesses Across the U.S.
Category: Black Business,Black-Owned Businesses,Entrepreneur,Investment Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

Oakland Black Business Fund (OBBF) has launched a new Black-led investment platform to provide capital and technical assistance to Black-owned businesses.

The platform includes a $10M relief fund focused on helping local Bay Area businesses impacted by COVID-19 and a $1B investment fund to support Black entrepreneurs across the country.

Founded in June 2020 by Oakland community leaders Elisse Douglass and Trevor Parham, the OBBF has raised over $150,000 of seed funding from individuals and corporations to pilot their model.

OBBF is working to deploy $10M in relief funds and technical assistance grants to stabilize 500 Black businesses in Oakland. The relief fund also prepares Black entrepreneurs for more substantial capital investments to scale their businesses and acquire real estate. 

In addition to the $10M in relief funds, the OBBF aims to raise $1B by the end of 2022 to invest in Black-owned businesses and real estate. These funds will be invested in Black businesses and entrepreneurs across the U.S. to address systemic bias from traditional financial organizations that perpetuate the funding gap for Black businesses.

Current capital partners and technical assistance providers include Alliance for Community Development, The Clorox Company, and Okta.

OBBF supports a broad array of businesses and nonprofits with a focus on scaling its city-specific model to other municipalities across the country. The fund is seeking investors and corporate partners to bridge the gap to their next milestone of $1M by the end of 2020.

Businesses interested in receiving capital or technical support can apply directly at Investors or organizations interested in contributing to OBBF can contact for more information on partnership opportunities.

Oakland Black Business Fund Launches Investment Platform for Black-Owned Businesses Across the U.S.