Published: May 11, 2023
by Small Business Editor
In Small Business News
Progressive Insurance, the leading commercial auto insurer in the United States, has announced that they are now accepting applications for their Driving Business Forward grant program. The program, designed to support Black entrepreneurs, will award 10 small business owners with a $25,000 grant each, which can be used toward purchasing a commercial vehicle for their businesses.
According to McKinsey & Company, although 20% of Black Americans start businesses, only 4% survive the startup stage, primarily due to difficulties in accessing financing. The Driving Business Forward grant program aims to help close these gaps and elevate the businesses of Black entrepreneurs.
Progressive is working with Hello Alice, a financial technology organization assisting over one million small businesses in accessing capital, to administer the grant program. Karen Bailo, Commercial Lines President at Progressive Insurance, said, “Our hope is this program will provide some assistance to Black entrepreneurs as they navigate their small business journey and help them combat any barriers.”
Hello Alice Co-founder and President, Elizabeth Gore, expressed her excitement about working with Progressive again this year, noting that grant recipients will be able to drive their businesses forward with the capital needed to purchase a commercial vehicle.
To be eligible for one of the ten $25,000 grants, applicants must sign up for a free Hello Alice account and complete their application by June 2, 2023, at 6 p.m. ET. Applications will be reviewed by a committee according to the criteria outlined in the terms and conditions. Grant recipients will be notified via email and publicly announced in August.
The Driving Business Forward grant program was initially launched in 2022 to support diverse small business owners across the country. In its first year, Progressive awarded ten Hispanic business owners with $25,000 grants each. The brand is continuing to expand opportunities for small businesses through the Hello Alice Small Business Growth Fund, which awards grants to small business owners of various backgrounds and ethnicities. Progressive has committed a total of $600,000 towards small businesses in partnership with Hello Alice.
This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for Black small business owners to secure funding and support for their businesses, helping to bridge the gap and increase the number of successful Black-owned businesses in the United States.
To apply and learn more about the Driving Business Forward grant program, visit https://helloalice.com/grants/progressive.
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More in: Small Business Grants
Small business owners across America now have more opportunities than ever to apply for grant programs and seek financial assistance for their businesses. Earlier today, two major organizations — Progressive and Hello Alice —announced their partnership for a new grant program for black small business owners to continue driving economic and racial equity.
Through the new grant program, $250K will be distributed among 10 Black small business owners, who each receive a grant of $25K. This grant is an effort to ensure the growth and success of these individuals’ businesses with the goal of enabling them to hire employees and obtain access to capital resources.
Progressive serves as the insurer, while Hello Alice provides business guidance to the 10 grantees throughout the duration of the program. The goal is to provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and resources to help them either build or grow their businesses in an effort to help narrow the gap of access to capital for Black-owned small businesses. Hello Alice also provides expert advice for creating effective business plans and leveraging online tools for marketing their products and services to potential customers.
Progressive and Hello Alice understand that Black-owned businesses face many unique challenges due to a lack of access to capital and the ongoing racial wealth gap. This initiative is an effort to help close that gap and provide much-needed cash flow for these businesses.
“By providing access to resources, mentorship and funding to help them achieve their goals, we want to create an opportunity for Black entrepreneurs to start and grow small businesses,” said Chinyere Hubbard, VP of Diversity and Inclusion at Progressive, on the launch of the program.
The application process for this new grant program opened today and runs through December 1, 2021. Qualified applicants will have the opportunity to be part of this highly sought-out initiative, which is expected to have a profoundly positive impact on small business owners and communities throughout the nation.