U.S. Small Business Administration Announces Landmark Collaboration with Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities to Address the Wealth Gap Through Black Entrepreneurship
First of its Kind Agreement That Will Focus on Improving Financial Literacy, Outreach and Capital Access Opportunities Across Communities
WASHINGTON – Today,
Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM)–an authority unique to the SBA among federal agencies–with President
Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., on behalf of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)’s Council of Presidents, comprised of nine historically Black fraternities and sororities, sometimes referred to as the “Divine Nine.”
“This historic alliance between the SBA and the NPHC—the first of its kind for a government agency—will bring SBA’s valuable small business resources into reach for many small businesses and entrepreneurs, furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment
to build equity and close historic wealth gaps that have held back America’s Black entrepreneurs, small business owners and their families and communities for generations,”
said Administrator Guzman. “Over the past 18 months, the SBA has made incredible progress reaching more of America’s small businesses, delivering vital resources and support to entrepreneurs who have been historically underinvested in and overlooked—the
same people and communities hit hardest by the COVID pandemic. Working alongside partners and allies within the Divine Nine will provide even greater reach for the SBA to better provide the highly entrepreneurial Black community access to networks, financial
literacy, technical training, and capital readiness so they can successfully realize their American Dreams of business ownership, create jobs, and advance our economy.”
Announced in the leadup to Juneteenth, this new strategic alliance advances the SBA’s implementation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to building equity throughout the federal government and across America. Under the new alliance, a unique agreement
for a federal government agency, the partnership will focus on increasing financial literacy within traditionally underserved, disadvantaged communities, expanding the Agency’s outreach, and introducing Black entrepreneurs to the SBA’s suite of tools and resources
to start and grow their businesses including access to capital, government contracting opportunities and counseling.
Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Grand Polemarch of
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.: “The National Pan Hellenic Council and its affiliate organizations are very excited about this opportunity with the U.S. Small Business Administration. This collaboration will give NPHC members critical
access to information that will promote small business growth and create jobs in all sectors of our economy.”
Often represented on thousands of university campuses, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with members in leadership roles across civic and business organizations and the faith community, the NPHC boasts over 2.5 million active
members and scores of alumni members. Taken together, this group of engaged leaders is a critical ally in helping building trust within key communities and introducing small business owners to critical resources to bolster their business outcomes as we seek
to close the wealth gap. The NPHC represents the following organizations:
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
The SBA Has Deepened its Engagement and Support of African American, Black and Historically Disadvantaged Small Business Owners.
In line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda outlined in the recently released SBA Equity Action Plan, the SBA has instituted several major changes to level the playing field for all small businesses, including making
impactful reforms to the Community Advantage (CA) Pilot loan program that prioritizes equitable access to capital for low-income borrowers and those from underserved communities,
releasing disaggregated data across industries and sectors by race and ethnicity and
helping to deliver contracting reforms to bring in new, diverse contractors, and launching the American Rescue Plan’s $100 million
Community Navigators program.
In addition, the SBA has expanded the number of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) it supports to 146 – the
largest WBC network in the history of the SBA. Notably, this investment under Administrator Guzman signifies the tripling of WBCs at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Since March 2021, the complete listing of WBCs housed on the campuses of
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) now includes:
Miles College, Fairfield, Alabama
Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia
Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland
Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi
Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi
Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina
Winston-Salem State University, Winston Salem, North Carolina
Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina
Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia
SBA remains committed to increasing capital for small businesses, including those in underserved communities. This means ensuring entrepreneurs have
access to capital, standard and disaster lending programs, and PPP
direct forgiveness as well as assistance in growing their revenues by getting their products online or into global markets and accessing federal
contracting opportunities, often by connecting them to one of the Agency’s newly launched
Community Navigators, hundreds of Field Offices, or thousands of
Resource Partners – including
Small Business Development Centers,
Women’s Business Centers, SCORE chapters, and
Veterans Business Ownership Centers – for mentoring, training, and assistance in navigating government resources.
For additional information on SBA funding opportunities, please visit
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners
with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more,
About the National Pan-Hellenic Council
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was founded on May 10, 1930, at Howard University in Washington, DC. The purpose is to foster cooperative actions of its members in dealing with matters of mutual concern. To this end, the NPHC promotes the well-being
of its affiliate fraternities and sororities, facilitates the establishment and development of local councils of the NPHC, and provides leadership training for its constituents.