How Capital One Supports Black and Hispanic Entrepreneurs
Through grant funding and development programs, Capital One is helping Black and Hispanic Entrepreneurs scale their businesses
October 27, 2023
According to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, “Entrepreneurs of color operate more than eight million businesses, generate $1.4 trillion in revenue, and employ more than seven million people.” With the national survival rate of businesses after five years averaging around 50%, women and people of color — especially Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs — face the additional difficulty of finding resources and capital at every development stage.
At Capital One, we recognize that small businesses form the backbone of the U.S. economy, accounting for 61.7 million Americans — good for more than 46 percent of the private sector workforce. Through our journey of working with entrepreneurs, we offer the three most critical ways to provide resources during those initial years: funding, learning and networking opportunities and mentorship.
Connection and Capital
Research shows that Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs not only have a more difficult time accessing initial seed funding, but they get far less of it than other founders. According to a Capital One Insights Center report, Black and Hispanic business owners who receive all the external startup funding they request generate three times more wealth than those who receive only part of the funding.
In fact, the report found that only 40 percent of Black and Hispanic business owners in Richmond, VA, received growth funding, and that the funding they received was about half the amount received by non-Black and non-Hispanic business owners.
Additionally, according to Digitalundivided, a nonprofit that supports women of color entrepreneurs, while the average seed funding for all startups is $1.1 million, the average Black female founder raises just $42,000 in total.
To support founders and entrepreneurs from the start, Capital One is helping to launch Black and Hispanic businesses through two tentpole partnerships, Black Magic Reimagined and #WeAllGrow. Geared towards Black and Latina women entrepreneurs, the two separate summits aim to bring together small business owners for panel discussions, networking, and a marketplace showcase to feature products.
The 2023 Black Magic Reimagined Summit amplified women of color by connecting them with pathways to develop the business career of their dreams. Capital One Business sponsored the Black Magic Reimagined Pitch Competition and provided $100,000 in grants to three women-owned small businesses.
Similarly, #WeAllGrow aims to elevate the voices and stories of Latinas through the power of community and culturally-relevant content while also offering tools to increase visibility and grow social and economic power. Through Capital One’s broader partnership with #WeAllGrow, Capital One Business will provide $90,000 in grants to Latina entrepreneurs through the Amigas in Business Pitch Competitions.
Additionally, Capital One supported the Association for Enterprise Opportunity in its efforts to assist Black-owned businesses that face a disproportionate amount of challenges in accessing capital. Capital One has provided $1.5M in grants to Black-owned businesses that can be used for growth regardless of its stage in business. In total, 150 business owners have received a $10,000 grant to help support their resiliency.
Bootcamps are often a great way for entrepreneurs to quickly learn new skills and generate ideas to launch their small businesses. That’s why Capital One created several boot camps including the #WeAllGrow Amigas in Business Bootcamp to connect Latina entrepreneurs with each other and help them gain “insider tips” on how to grow their businesses. For the Amigas in Business Bootcamps, Capital One invited business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs for a series of in-person workshops as well as digital masterclass experiences at Capital One Cafes in Phoenix, Arizona, Los Angeles, California, and Austin, Texas.
"Through Capital One’s engagement with Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs, we are committed to providing learning resources and networking opportunities in addition to initial seed funding,” says Maureen Jules-Perez, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, and Divisional CIO, Managing Vice President of People Tech at Capital One. “Through bootcamps, pro bono volunteer engagements and community investment programs, these entrepreneurs experience dedicated and encouraging spaces to a welcoming and belonging community, personal development and meaningful dialogue – all of which are needed to thrive.”
Capital One also offers learning and connection-building opportunities for entrepreneurs through its Diverse Supplier Development programs, including Catapult, Strategies to Advance and Grow Enterprise (SAGE) Advice program, and Diverse Supplier Mentoring. The programs provide tools, resources and mentoring by pairing diverse business owners with Capital One associates.
- Catapult: Offers an intensive, six-month transformational journey for underrepresented business owners. Designed to help entrepreneurs bridge the digital skills gap, Catapult offers instructional courses, collaborative thinking workshops, access to one-on-one meetings with subject matter experts, and regular meetings with a dedicated Advisory Board.
- SAGE: Leverages the power of networking and mentorship to develop women business owners and enable them to grow their revenue. Over the course of the six-month program, participants receive active support during monthly classroom sessions, and they engage in monthly check-ins with their Capital One Business Resource Partner.
- Diverse Supplier Mentoring: Provides mentorship in marketing, cash flow, data security, finance and more, to create lasting relationships with local businesses. The program pairs local entrepreneurs with Capital One associates to develop sustainable models that accelerate year-over-year growth, profitability, and key operating metrics.
Initial funding money and education are important, but Capital One also understands the need to continue support long after an event ends. One major way we do this is through Capital One’s Supplier Diversity Program, which provides ways to help diverse-owned small businesses thrive by including qualified diverse businesses in every sourcing opportunity wherever these suppliers exist.
The 2022 Capital One Supplier Diversity Economic Impact Report found that the economic impact of Capital One’s purchases from diverse businesses resulted in $1.5 billion in production impact, $722.1 million in wages supported, 8,770 jobs supported, and $206.6 million in taxes generated.
“Capital One's Supplier Diversity Program is designed to expand our footprint with diverse suppliers. Our goal is to offer various programs intended to provide tangible skills training to diverse suppliers which grow their capabilities and help them be better prepared to compete for opportunities from Capital One and other suppliers,” says Clint Grimes, Chief Procurement Officer at Capital One. “From mentoring to technical education, our goal is to ensure that diverse suppliers can compete for our business as well as business from other Fortune 500 firms. By working together, we build stronger local businesses that in turn, build stronger communities.”
Capital One has also joined forces with organizations to create resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners, including a video series to navigate economic hardships and a podcast series to find ways to thrive and lessons learned from other small business owners.
Many of Capital One’s efforts to support Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs are made possible through the Capital One Impact Initiative — a multi-year commitment that strives to catalyze economic growth in low- and moderate-income communities and close gaps in equity and opportunity.