The Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective Increases to $15 Million Commitment to Support BIPOC-Owned Businesses

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective Increases to $15 Million Commitment to Support BIPOC-Owned Businesses

NEW YORK – As part of its ongoing effort to promote more inclusive growth in a post-pandemic recovery and over the long term, The Rockefeller Foundation announced today it is committing $15 million to the Rockefeller Opportunity Collective (ROC) initiative, increasing its previous commitment by $3 million.

The announcement was made during at event with former President Bill Clinton and The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv J. Shah at the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network, which brings together organizations from across sectors to share best practices, resources and ideas to address global challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dedicated to eliminating barriers to access to capital and credit among low-wage workers and small businesses operated by Black and Latinx owners, the funding will be allocated to a collective of government, business, faith-based, and non-profit partners in 12 locations over several years, including Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md., Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; El Paso, Tex.; Houston, Tex., Jackson, Miss., Louisville, Ky., Miami Dade County, Fla.; Newark, N.J.; Norfolk, Va.; and Oakland, Calif.

“The Covid 19 pandemic showed just how deadly the inequities that exist in our society are, especially to communities of color, where more people died and more businesses closed, while receiving less relief,” says Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “We have a choice: Make the kinds of structural change necessary to allow small business owners of color have the same access to capital and chance to grow and strengthen their communities, or continue as is, widening the gap between rich and poor which actually hurts us all. Make no mistake: every community relies on the success of the other—Covid should have proven that to us all.”

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of a pandemic that has had deep, negative impacts on Black and Latinx-owned small businesses, this influx of capital will help revitalize businesses that give so much to our communities in employment, culture and services,” says Otis Rolley III, Senior Vice President of The Rockefeller Foundation’s U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity Initiative. “Even before this pandemic, too many small businesses owned by people of color had already struggled to access equitable and flexible capital.  Now we can help bolster and strengthen Black and Latinx business owners, who can be powerful drivers of economic recovery in communities across the country.”...