Published 3 years ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Queen Hippie Gypsy is Oakland, Calif.'s first black-owned crystal shop. | Queen Hippie Gypsy/GoFundMe
A new range of initiatives from Visa aims to further support small business recovery from COVID, and equip them to keep up with increasing demand for e-commerce and digital payments; with $100k in grants earmarked for US-based, Black women-owned small businesses.
This week, Visa announced a global
commitment to elevate 50 million small and micro businesses (SMBs) worldwide in
an effort to get local communities back to business in the wake of the COVID-19
pandemic — with a
special initiative aimed at helping Black women entrepreneurs secure funding
needed to run and grow their businesses, and be able to compete in an
increasingly digital and e-commerce-dominated market in the wake of the virus.
Small businesses will play a vital role in helping communities around the world
recover — they account for more than half of global employment and yet, are
among the most affected by the
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, 43 percent of
say they only have money to last six months and less than half of SMBs have any
In addition to the economic impact, the pandemic has obviously accelerated the
move to shopping online and demand for touchless payment options.
In addition to its recent $210 million
to help SMBs survive and thrive during and after the pandemic, Visa is also
focusing on these strategic areas to promote digital commerce and economic
In the US, Visa is expanding its partnership with
(IFW) — which provides grants and digital training to US-based, women-owned
SMBs — to award $100k in grants for US-based, Black women-owned small
Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, yet they receive
less than 5 percent of small business
(only $1 in $23). The number of startups founded by Black women has more than
doubled since 2016, yet they represent just 0.06 percent of the $424.7 billion
in total tech venture funding raised since 2009.
Launching on June 30, Visa’s expanded IFundWomen program will award 10 $10k
grants to help Black women entrepreneurs across the US secure funding needed to run and
grow their businesses. In addition to the funding, grant recipients will receive
support through mentoring, educational resources, connection with a network of
female business owners and an annual IFW membership.
The effort builds off Visa’s commitment to support the Black
the US, and its ongoing She’s Next
women entrepreneurs across the globe.
Visa has built localized online resource centers in over 20 countries* *—
providing tools and information on how to start, run and grow digital-first
small businesses. Across European markets, Visa is investing to increase the
number of digital payment acceptance devices within shops by more than 50
Starting in July, Visa street teams will visit merchants in the 50 largest US
cities, to provide “back to business” kits with new tools and educational
resources. After the US, the program will expand to 15 countries including
Singapore, Italy and South Africa.
In Australia, New Zealand and the US, Visa has created a suite of
and fostered various partnerships to encourage support of neighborhood
businesses by rewarding consumers for spending their dollars locally. In Europe,
the Middle East and Africa, Visa has launched new SMB initiatives that
champion and enable entrepreneurs while encouraging consumers to support small
Visa has also launched the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute, to help
address underlying problems and provide insights for SMB growth, and close
racial/gender gaps through policy. Key projects in the next six months will
address post-crisis recovery and resilience, urban mobility, closing equality
opportunity gaps, and insights into the gig economy.
Published Jun 23, 2020 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST