Imagine what Black women could do when they have equal access to distributed resources, funding and opportunities? The possibilities are endless — though sadly, it’s not a reality.

Even despite this, Black women business owners continue to blaze trails. According to a 2019 report, Black women represent 42% of net new women-owned businesses, which is three times their share of the women population at 14%. But though Black women may now be starting businesses at a record pace, they’re still having to overcome massive obstacles in doing so. Rather than turn to debt or equity financing to fund their businesses, many rely on financial reserves like their savings as the main source of startup capital. 

Thanks to a partnership with IFundWomen of Color, American Express has been able to help 100 Black women with access to capital and so much more. The “100 for 100” program, which was announced back in November was created to celebrate and support Black women entrepreneurs as they grow their business ventures. American Express surprised 100 women with $25,000 in funding and 100 days of resources, including business education, mentorship, marketing, virtual networking, WorkSpaces by Hilton hotel reservation credits and more. 

“I really entered into this with no idea how to run a business,” said Nadirah Simmons, founder of The Gumbo. “Just a great idea that I’ve been executing that people loved. Now I know so much more about the ins and outs of what I should be doing on the backend, and I am much more confident in establishing a strategy for things like marketing.”

“It’s an honor to be in a space to network with the other award winners and share our joys and challenges. We can relate to our pain and want to see each other win,” Alyscia Cunningham of Her House Media also shared.

Curriculum expert Della Clark, President and CEO of The Enterprise Center, American Express designed a 100 day robust business education curriculum for the women that focused on key, relevant topics for their businesses: Managing Cash Flow, Sales and Marketing, Managing Growth and Finding Work/Life Balance. The “100 for 100” program concludes on April 22 with a live business class virtual event, open to all small business owners at no cost.

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