Hope Enterprise Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Southern HBCUs and Cities launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative to dismantle economic inequality

JACKSON, MS – Hope Enterprise Corporation has announced a $130 million commitment from Goldman Sachs, has partnered with seven cities, and nine historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (DSEMC). Formed to stabilize and strengthen businesses and communities devastated by the economic crisis, DSEMC is an innovative collaborative that invests in the power of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Deep South, particularly those from underserved and under-resourced communities.

DSEMC taps the expertise and capabilities of Hope Enterprise Corporation, Goldman Sachs, institutions of higher learning and cities in a unique way to provide access to financing, business education classes, and business support services, leveraging support from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. This comprehensive support focuses on stabilizing and strengthening small businesses, and bolstering employment in a region characterized by deep, entrenched poverty and racial disparities.

“For centuries, racism and economic inequality has thwarted human and economic potential in the Deep South, but our story doesn’t end there,” said Bill Bynum, HOPE CEO. “Equipped with opportunity and the right tools, people of this region can accomplish anything. Fueled by their resilience, and harnessing the collective resources of DSEMC, together we will knock down the barriers facing underserved businesses and communities in a way that has never been done before. The collaborative will help build a more inclusive economy that will yield benefits now and for future generations.”

“Black businesses ownership is a proven way to advance economic mobility,” said Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs Partner and Head of the Urban Investment Group. “Goldman Sachs has a long history of building up Black and women-owned businesses through 10,000 Small Business and by investing in Community Development Financial Institutions like HOPE. The Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative reflects our ongoing commitment to invest deeply in strategies to close the racial wealth gap.”

While the DSEMC is open to all small businesses, the impact of the pandemic and economic crisis has disproportionately harmed communities of color. Recent research shows that between February and mid-April of 2020, 41% of Black businesses had permanently closed, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses. Furthermore, the value of Black businesses in the Deep South is lower than in any other part of the country, underscoring the urgent need for solutions in a region with the highest percentage of Black residents.

“Partnering with the world’s preeminent investment bank will anchor Miles College as the incubator for Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs in our region,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “This alliance with Goldman Sachs and Hope Credit Union will create a groundbreaking impact and support the next generation for entrepreneurs.”

Through the collaborative, each partner brings unique capabilities and years of experience, and all are passionate about promoting economic opportunity in their communities. Participating municipalities are Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee. Participating HBCUs are Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Dillard University, Southern University and A&M College, Xavier University of Louisiana, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and LeMoyne-Owen College.

Projections call for the DSEMC to serve 4-5,000 businesses and support 30,000 employees and their family members while improving conditions in Deep South communities to further Black economic mobility.

To learn more about the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative, visit www.hopecu.org/mobility.

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About HOPE
HOPE(Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute) provides financial services; aggregates resources; and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, birthplace and wealth limit one’s ability to prosper. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.9 billion in financing that has benefitted more than 1.7 million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. For more information, visit www.hopecu.org.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity to providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. To date, more than 9,100 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.