The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA) has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative aimed at bolstering financial resilience within Metro Detroit’s small business arena. Named the Small Business Investment program, this initiative promises to plant the seeds of financial security by providing $2,500 investment accounts on the Stackwell digital investment platform to up to 200 small business owners, their employees, and active MDBBA member entrepreneurs. This transformative step is made possible through a generous $1 million grant from Prudential Financial.
It’s no secret that stocks are a crucial vehicle for long-term wealth accumulation and securing comfortable retirements. However, while over half of White Americans have stakes in equities, this statistic dwindles to about one-third for Black families, as reported by the Federal Reserve. This program’s mission is to elevate the investment confidence and engagement of small business stakeholders in Metro Detroit, positioning this initiative as a primary driver for inclusive economic advancement in the area.
Trevor Rozier-Byrd, CEO of Stackwell Capital, expressed his pride in this endeavor, stating: “We are proud to deepen our investment in the Metro Detroit community through this innovative program. Black-owned businesses are a growth engine for the economy and community, yet they continue to face challenges in accessing funding and opportunities to grow. For many, the unavailability of business capital leads to a greater reliance on credit cards and personal funds. This, in turn, impacts one’s credit and the ability to access business capital in the future. Through this program we hope to end this cycle and enable more members of the Metro Detroit Black small business community to achieve greater personal and business financial stability so that they can sustainably grow their businesses and their wealth over time.”
Charity Dean, president and CEO of the MDBBA, illuminated the sobering reality of systemic disparities: “Systemic and structural racism have created an unequal racial wealth gap in our country. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that the racial wealth gap is the largest of the economic disparities in America. And the Federal Reserve found that White households hold on average eight times more wealth than Black households, with that figure growing to 17-times for the Millennial and Gen Z population. At MDBBA, our mission is to address the specific challenges that Black business owners face. We are committed to providing them with the tools, resources, and advocacy needed to not only survive but thrive.”
Shané Harris, who wears multiple hats as the vice president and head of social responsibility at Prudential Financial and as the president of The Prudential Foundation, emphasized their endorsement of the program: “We are pleased to support this program and drive positive impact for Detroit’s small business community. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, and this program aligns with our commitment to expand access to wealth-building pathways for the Metro Detroit community and for all our stakeholders.”
For those interested, applications can be obtained directly from MDBBA’s application form. It’s pivotal to note that MDBBA membership is all-encompassing, welcoming individuals from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Both longstanding and newly-inducted members are qualified to apply for the Small Business Investment Program. Aspiring participants are encouraged to submit their applications by the deadline of November 17, 2023.