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In the current economic climate we are seeing more individuals becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses as opposed to relying on public sector jobs or corporate America.

In the African American community there are nearly 2 million small businesses and 1.1 million of those businesses are owned by Black women.

On Tuesday, Jay Williams of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) stopped by “NewsOne Now” to discuss the $2.5 million in grants awarded to Operation Hope to help minority owned small businesses across nine states and Washington D.C.


… the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding more than $2.5 million in grants to support the implementation of the HOPE Inside Small Business Empowerment Initiative (SBEI) to assist small business owners in nine states and the District of Columbia. According to the grantee, SBEI intends to graduate 600 entrepreneurs from a training program, educate 6,000 participants through their Small Business Workshops, create 600 small businesses, enroll 4,500 participants in credit and money management and provide technical assistance to 3,000 small business owners during the grant period.

The EDA is a bureau of the Department of Commerce and is the only agency charged with “explicitly facilitating economic opportunity in distressed communities across America.”

Williams told Martin that EDA invests in non-profits and works with local government officials to help create conditions on the ground where those individuals who wish to become entrepreneurs can receive proper training, obtain access to capital and get the technical assistance as well as counseling to help them become successful business owners.

Williams stated the EDA makes investments in business incubators and business accelerators. “Our investments go to entities that are on the ground working with those businesses whether they be start-ups or ongoing businesses,” said Williams.

Williams explained individuals who are looking for assistance with starting a small business should contact a local entity that EDA currently supports. The EDA works closely with the MBDA (Minority Business Development Administration) and has development offices across the country to assist potential minority business owners.

Listen to Martin and Jay Williams discuss the EDA’s initiative to assist small minority owned business in the audio clip below. For more information about the Economic Development Administration visit

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