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Grant funding gives life to program designed for Black entrepreneurs

Main Street Ventures is giving a financial boost to a local organization aiming to help the region's Black entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

The mainstay of Cincinnati's startup scene has awarded Black Achievers, which began as networking group for Black professionals, a $50,000 grant to support a new entrepreneurship program.

The program will help with business plan development, marketing assistance, advisory board creation, strategic partnerships and pre-accelerator assistance, according to a news release. The ultimate goal is to prepare Black entrepreneurs to participate in accelerators such as: Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub, Ocean Accelerator, Hillman Accelerator, Mortar, etc.

"The goals of Black Achievers and Main Street Ventures align perfectly. We’re both on missions to help improve the chances of survival for historically underrepresented founders," Kelly Bonnell, executive director of Main Street Ventures, said in a statement.

Michael Moore, president of Black Achievers, said the grant will go toward building the infrastructure necessary to launch the program.

Black Achievers was founded in 2018 to give Black professionals their own space within Cincinnati's business community. The organization now has over 4,000 members within the Tri-State, including more than 540 small business owners that could benefit from the new entrepreneurship program.

In July, Moore said in an interview with the Business Courier he hopes the organization will one day serve as a pipeline for the city's corporations as they aim to connect and hire more diverse talent.

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