SBA Announces Landmark Collaboration with Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities to Address Wealth Gaps Through Black Entrepreneurship

First of its Kind Agreement That Will Focus on Improving Financial Literacy, Outreach, and Capital Access Opportunities Across Communities

WASHINGTON – This week, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM)–an authority unique to the SBA among federal agencies–with President Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., on behalf of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)’s Council of Presidents, comprised of nine historically Black fraternities and sororities, sometimes referred to as the “Divine Nine.”

“This historic alliance between the SBA and the NPHC—the first of its kind for a government agency—will bring SBA’s valuable small business resources into reach for many small businesses and entrepreneurs, furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to build equity and close historic wealth gaps that have held back America’s Black entrepreneurs, small business owners and their families and communities for generations,” said Administrator Guzman. “Over the past 18 months, the SBA has made incredible progress reaching more of America’s small businesses, delivering vital resources and support to entrepreneurs who have been historically underinvested in and overlooked—the same people and communities hit hardest by the COVID pandemic. Working alongside partners and allies within the Divine Nine will provide even greater reach for the SBA to better provide the highly entrepreneurial Black community access to networks, financial literacy, technical training, and capital readiness so they can successfully realize their American Dreams of business ownership, create jobs, and advance our economy.”

Announced in the leadup to Juneteenth, this new strategic alliance advances the SBA’s implementation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to building equity throughout the federal government and across America. Under the new alliance, a unique agreement for a federal government agency, the partnership will focus on increasing financial literacy within traditionally underserved, disadvantaged communities, expanding the Agency’s outreach, and introducing Black entrepreneurs to the SBA’s suite of tools and resources to start and grow their businesses including access to capital, government contracting opportunities and counseling.

Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., added: “The National Pan Hellenic Council and its affiliate organizations are very excited about this opportunity with the U.S. Small Business Administration. This collaboration will give NPHC members critical access to information that will promote small business growth and create jobs in all sectors of our economy.”

Wanda Smith (standing, second from left) of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., is a founding member of BDPA’s Temple University Student Chapter. She joins SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman (seated left) and other Zeta Phi Beta sorors during signing ceremonies. — SBA photo.

Often represented on thousands of university campuses, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with members in leadership roles across civic and business organizations and the faith community, the NPHC boasts over 2.5 million active members and scores of alumni members. Taken together, this group of engaged leaders is a critical ally in helping building trust within key communities and introducing small business owners to critical resources to bolster their business outcomes as we seek to close the wealth gap. The NPHC represents the following organizations:

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
     

The SBA Has Deepened its Engagement and Support of African American, Black and Historically Disadvantaged Small Business Owners.

In line with the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda outlined in the recently released SBA Equity Action Plan, the SBA has instituted several major changes to level the playing field for all small businesses, including making impactful reforms to the Community Advantage (CA) Pilot loan program that prioritizes equitable access to capital for low-income borrowers and those from underserved communities, releasing disaggregated data across industries and sectors by race and ethnicity and helping to deliver contracting reforms to bring in new, diverse contractors, and launching the American Rescue Plan’s $100 million Community Navigators program.

In addition, the SBA has expanded the number of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) it supports to 146 – the largest WBC network in the history of the SBA. Notably, this investment under Administrator Guzman signifies the tripling of WBCs at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Since March 2021, the complete listing of WBCs housed on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) now includes:

  • Miles College, Fairfield, Alabama
  • Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia
  • Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland
  • Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi
  • Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi
  • Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Winston-Salem State University, Winston Salem, North Carolina
  • Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia
     
(L-R) Norman Mays, Founder, BDPA Washington, D.C. and Carl Brown, Executive Director, DCSBDC, attend 40th anniversary award ceremonies for National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter at Howard University’s Armour J. Blackburn University Center. DCSBDC’s program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Howard University.  BDPA-DC photo by Pat McDugall © 2018 bdpatoday

SBA remains committed to increasing capital for small businesses, including those in underserved communities. This means ensuring entrepreneurs have access to capital, standard and disaster lending programs, and PPP direct forgiveness as well as assistance in  growing their revenues by getting their products online or into global markets and accessing federal contracting opportunities, often by connecting them to one of the Agency’s newly launched Community Navigators, hundreds of Field Offices, or thousands of Resource Partners – including Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Centers, SCORE chapters, and Veterans Business Ownership Centers – for mentoring, training, and assistance in navigating government resources.

Source and photos: SBA and BDPA-DC


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

AFIT HBCU DLS 22

2019 Community Technology Awards

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WASHINGTON — National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org) is hosting an evening of professional networking and Holiday Soirée with Tech Industry executives on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at Samsung Electronics Executive Briefing Center, 700 PENN S.E., Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

2019 High School Computer Competition Champions
2019 National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Champions from Washington, D.C.

This year’s annual Tech & Media Reception, Community Technology Awards,  and Holiday Soirée is co-hosted by Samsung Electronics. In closing out this exciting decade, the association is honoring the region’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) national coding championship team (above), celebrating the 55th Anniversary of The Washington Informer, and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the H.O.P.E. Project DMV.

2019 Community and Technology Award Winners

2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards

2019 Industry Sponsor of the Year

2019 Community Service Award

2019 Member of the Year

  • Terry Wilson-Brox, KPMG
    Tech ‘Team Mom‘ for 2019 National HSCC Coding Champions
    Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ron Hamm , President, HCG
    Government Relations (GovRel) contributor to bdpatoday

2019 President’s Technical Career Awards

  • Anu Fomengia
  • Dernard Hawkins
  • Lynette Hinton
  • Sedley Randolph
  • Phyllis Ussery
  • Brittany Walker

Earl A, Pace, Jr. | Co-Founder, BDPASince 1975, BDPA’s mission sets continue to pay it forward into its fifth (5G) decade to bridge application development, cybersecurity, information technology (IT), and telecommunications competency gaps between Industry, Academia, governments and traditionally underserved communities.

Local BDPA Chapter goals across the National Capital Region (NCR) are set forth to provide access to technology and career training programs. Events with regional sponsors and mission partners include educational outreach programs for professionals, junior developers (Jr. Devs), young adults, and youth technology programs across the Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (DMV) in direct support of economic development, technology inclusion, and workforce development initiatives.

Reservations for this year’s reception and BDPA Professional Membership drives for 2020 remain open until Monday, November 18, 2019. Discover more by visiting the trade association’s landing pages, publications, and archives → https://bdpadc.org

Select here to RSVP before Monday, November 18th


National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter to Host Annual Tech Awards

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WASHINGTON (bdpatoday)
—National BDPA’s (NBDPA) Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPA-DC) will celebrate several milestones during this year’s annual technology and community service awards banquet. Chartered in 1978 to introduce underserved communities to “data processing”, computer sciences, or help bridge digital divides between industry, academia, and government, BDPA-DC also celebrates its 38th Anniversary in 2016.

hscc-champs14National High School Computer Competition (HSCC)  Launched 30 Years Ago 
The National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse L. Bemley, a National BDPA Life Member from Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) and Atlanta, GA (BDPA Atlanta) HSCC Teams has grown to over 25 teams of students from various high schools in BDPA Chapter cities throughout the nation. HSCC was designed to introduce Student Members to the field of data processing careers, now Information Communication and Technology (ICT), to encourage students to seek higher levels of training, certification, education, and groom them to become our nation’s next generation of ICT leaders and technical professionals.

bdpa-bigdata-predictbdpatoday Reaches 10-Year Milestone
BDPA-DC’s Communications Committee also reaches a new milestone this year with their serial publication, bdpatoday (ISSN 1946-1429), entering its tenth season. The first edition of bdpatoday was published in May of 2007 to promote information technology and cyber success stories through the lenses of underserved communities in advance of the annual National BDPA Technology Conference co-hosted in Washington D.C. that year.

2016 BDPA-DC Award Recipients
BDPA-DC’s 2016 Technology and Community Service Award recipients will be honored on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at the Washington Navy Yard Conference Center from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

This year’s Award Categories for the National Capital Region follow.

2016 BDPA-DC Lifetime Achievement Award:
  Terry Halvorsen; Department of Defense (DoD), Chief Information Officer (CIO)

2016 BDPA-DC Entrepreneur of the Year:
  Aaron Saunders; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Clearly Innovative, Inc.

2016 BDPA-DC Member of the Year:
  Thurman Jones; Patriots Technology Training Center (PTTC)

2016 Chapter President’s Awards:
  Instructor Staff: H.O.P.E. Project DMV
Helping Other People Excel

Mission Partner of the Year:
   United States Air Force

Education Partner of the Year:
   Bowie State University

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Top cover photo:
(L-R) Terry Halvorsen (DoD); Aaron Saunders (Clearly Innovative, Inc.); Thurman Jones (Patriots Technology Training Center); Louis Shack (HSCC); Raymond Bell Jr.; Michael Smith; David Reid, and Dean Cook [not pictured] (H.O.P.E. Project DMV).

 —Photo credits: BDPA-DC, bdpatoday, and DoD
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