Being an entrepreneur means wearing many hats and every stage of growth requires that you develop new skills –  whether it is learning how to manage staff, find vendors who can manufacture your products or learn how to use social media more effectively. 

And if you are a Black business owner the challenges of running a business are even harder as llustrated by this cartoon:

Whether you want to take your side hustle to a full time venture or have an existing business you want to take to the next level, the following Bay Area non-profits can help set you up for success. They provide training and workshops and some of them are a resource for access to capital.

1 Centro Community Partners – Trains underserved, low-income and minority entrepreneurs to help them start, develop and grow their businesses. Centro’s Basic Entrepreneurship Program was designed for individuals primarily in the idea stage of their business and who have not been exposed yet to any business education. 

2 ESO Ventures is a business incubator designed to support Black and Latino entrepreneurs to gain the competence, confidence, and capital needed to establish and grow successful small businesses in East Oakland and create opportunities for them to become economic generators for the community.  We are working to develop a replicable and scalable model for early stage entrepreneurial business incubation in predominantly Black and Latino communities.

3 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help small businesses grow and create jobs by providing them with greater access to education, capital, and business support services. To date, more than 9,700 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.

4 Oakland Black Business fund(OBBF) is a Black-led investment platform, providing capital, technical assistance, and growth strategy to Black-owned businesses. The OBBF platform includes a $10M relief fund focused on helping Oakland businesses impacted by COVID-19 and a $1B investment fund to support Black entrepreneurs across the country.

5 Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center has helped open more businesses than any other non-profit in the Bay Area, and according to the Aspen Institute, posts the best record for business longevity. From inception to business planning, access to capital and resources, and ongoing assistance that growing businesses require, Renaissance fuels community vitality by empowering under-served individuals to start businesses that bring jobs, character, and sustainable economic health to the local economy.

6 Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization with members who provide free consultation services and advice to entrepreneurs. Members of SCORE are current or retired business owners and corporate executives who specialize in a variety of business skills. They recently launched a special department SCORE for Black Entrepreneurs to meet the special challenges and obstacles unique to Black owned businesses.

Silicon Valley Accelerator Program for Black Entrepreneurs.

adapted from ADN’s Builders of Africa’s Future program that celebrates innovation and impact among early-stage African enterprises, Builders of America’s Future identifies 20 Black business leaders catalyzing an array of sustainable solutions to poverty across multiple sectors at the local and national level. This includes education, healthcare, finance, renewable energy, and connectivity, all of which address essential community needs while spurring sustainable growth.

6 Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative provides holistic and culturally relevant education, advising, and community to support diverse entrepreneurs in creating thriving businesses in service to their communities.

If you are aware of another organization that we should include on this list send an email to [email protected]