JPMorgan awards St. Paul $5 million nonprofit to help Black and Latino women-owned businesses grow

St. Paul’s Center for Economic Inclusion has been awarded one of six $5 million grants that JPMorgan Chase has awarded nationwide as part of the financial giant’s “AdvancingCities Challenge” to help community-owned businesses black and latin women.

The Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI) plans to leverage the bank grant to help 60 businesses by 2025.

The grant was a great “approval of our vision and what we plan to do for the community,” said Tawanna Black, CEO and Founder of CEI.

As part of this effort, CEI is launching Project Vanguard with its partners Activate Network, Certified Access, Fearless Commerce and NEOO Partners Inc.

The Vanguard Fund is also being launched, which will use approximately $1.5 million from the JPMorgan grant to help raise an additional $25 million through foundations, corporations, angel investors and venture capitalists. .

The plan aims to target companies in high-growth areas such as the medical, technology and financial sectors. CEI and its partners will provide the support, training, equity investments and revenue-based loans so that participating companies are firmly on track to grow from $1 million in annual revenue to $10 million, said Black. The fund will also make investments in startups.

The goal is for these 60 businesses to be helped create 150 new jobs, generate $5.5 million in new revenue, win 15 government contracts, and certify 25 women of color as minority-owned businesses.” certified” by the federal government and able to supply the city, county and state. contracts.

Currently, few black and Latino contractors have the capital to bid on government work.

CEI will work with groups such as Fearless Commerce and Activate Network to launch an eight-week “Certified Access” academy to certify local women of color businesses and connect them to government contracts and capital opportunities.

They will also help selected businesses obtain loans and manage unique cash flow issues that can arise with government contracts and their late payments.

CEI sponsors include the McKnight Foundation, Target, US Bank, 3M, Thrivent, Wells Fargo, Mortenson and Best Buy. JPMorgan also made previous investments in CEI, but previous amounts were around $1 million over several years. So the new amount “is a lot. I cried,” Black said. “I’m excited about the promise of this for our entire community.”

The grant builds on JPMorgan’s presence in the Twin Cities, where it has 300 workers, said Joanna Trotter, senior program manager.

“We know that doing business here comes with the responsibility of supporting the community,” Trotter said. The bank’s goal is to “drive systemic change” in cities.

JPMorgan has pledged to spend $500 million over five years on its AdvancingCities initiative to advance the long-term viability of metropolitan areas.

This year, the bank focused on Black and Latina women, their families and their effects on local economies, she said.

“Given the disproportionate and detrimental impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women of color, we have focused this challenge on meeting their needs toward a more inclusive economic recovery,” Trotter said.

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