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ELEVATED CITIES is supported through Mastercard’s “In Solidarity” initiative, a program launched in 2021 dedicated to investing in Black communities across the U.S. by generating funding and opportunities for Black-owned Businesses.
ELEVATED CITIES builds on Our Village United’s ELEVATE program which works to provide wrap-around support for solopreneurs and microbusinesses through targeted capital grants, technical assistance, shared professional services, and wellness support for the business owner.
ELEVATED CITIES impacts Black-owned businesses across Atlanta, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New Orleans, New York City, Dayton, Birmingham, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia to deliver strategies and practices that will scale these businesses for growth. At the end of each cohort, a small number of businesses will be selected to participate in a highly competitive pitch competition for a chance to win grant funding ranging from $10,000-15,000.
This Black Woman-Led Accelerator Is Positioning Small Black Businesses To Thrive Against The Odds
“I feel more confident in achieving those goals with the tools we’ve been provided with. It’s reassuring to have a program like this helping people of color in the spaces we’re in. We don’t have the knowledge or tools needed to compete with our counterparts. I have the knowledge now so now I can implement it little by little.”
“The wellness classes are necessary. A lot of us are doing more than one thing to provide for ourselves and our families, and it takes a toll. We want to be understood. We really do need wellness. Our mental stability needs to be on point.”
“This program is foundational. It’s not over the top of my head. Everything has been put in the simplest terms. One of my fears coming in was that I wouldn’t understand any of these terms and wouldn’t graduate. But I felt very welcomed, and I’m getting what I thought we’d be getting, and it’s been helpful.”
“My approach to how I do my business has changed. It’s like my baby. And it has stages. It helped me to be able to know where I will be different in time. I have a more positive outlook instead of thinking I’m just always trying to get out of a ditch.”