Black entrepreneurs continue to face systemic barriers when it comes to accessing funding to grow their businesses. At the end of last year, Black startup founders received just $264 million of $33.6 billion in capital allocated - less than 1%.
These barriers extend into our banking systems, where 57 percent of Black business owners are denied a bank loan during the formation of their business.
For more than three years, the Fifteen Percent Pledge has been working alongside major corporations to re-evaluate their organizational structures, funding streams, and supply chains, in order to create new economic opportunities and greater equity for Black businesses.
To date, 29 corporations have made long-term contractual commitments to this work, creating the potential to shift more than $14B to Black businesses. Despite this progress, there is still so much work to do to ensure an inclusive economy and an equitable future for Black entrepreneurs.
Application Process + Timeline
Applicants must first create, update, or complete their business profile in our Business Equity Community in order to access award application questions. The application will be open for four weeks. A review committee will select semi-finalists, and the winner will be selected through public voting. Before you get started on the application, we recommend reviewing a resource document we created for you to submit your strongest application: Application tips and resources.
· October 30
· November 30
· January 8
Ten semi-finalists are notified and invited to the 2024 15PP Gala
· January 8 to January 14
First round of public voting begins to identify winner and two finalists
· January 19
Top three finalists are notified with no indication of winner status
· February 3
Winner is announced at the event
· Member of our Business Equity Community
· Has a presence on Google Shopping
· E-commerce business with a minimum annual revenue of $100K
· Black-owned: At least one self-identifying Black person with 50% or more equity in the company
· Has between 2-15 employees, including the founder
For more information and to apply, please click here.