The Rockefeller Foundation Grant will allow ACE to continue supporting underserved Atlanta entrepreneurs as they push toward recovery from the pandemic.
Atlanta, Georgia. January 12, 2022 – The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to ACE | Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. in support of the ACE Recovery and Resilience Program providing diverse and flexible lending solutions and educational resources to historically disadvantaged small businesses and business owners in the city of Atlanta. The funding is a part of The Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective (ROC) – a larger initiative focused on decreasing the racial wealth gap in 12 places while demonstrating successful models of stabilizing and growing Black and Latinx small businesses. This funding will support BIPOC (Black and indigenous people of color), women, and low-income-owned businesses in the city of Atlanta as they push toward recovery.
The grant is catalytic capital that will allow ACE to leverage credit enhancements such as loan guarantees and concessionary rates to provide an estimated capital infusion of $7 million in loans to Atlanta’s underserved entrepreneurs while retaining or creating at least 200 jobs.
“ACE’s Resilience and Recovery program empowers BIPOC business owners who are typically excluded from accessing affordable capital and enables them with a greater opportunity to stabilize and grow their businesses through much-needed capital and technical assistance,” said Brett Mons, Manager for Equity and Economic Opportunity initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation. “We are proud to support ACE and diverse entrepreneurs across Atlanta.”
The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing racial and gender wealth gaps in the city, and components of this program are designed to lessen those gaps enabling equitable and flexible financing solutions complemented by business advisory services.
Grace Fricks, CEO of ACE, noted: “Affordable capital fuels successful business growth. Through this opportunity, Atlanta business owners of color, both men and women, will be better equipped to expand their businesses, build assets and create jobs that support communities and families. We are pleased to have the support of The Rockefeller Foundation to deepen our work breaking down systemic barriers to capital and credit access.”
Since 2000, ACE has deployed more than $135 million and impacted 2,000+ entrepreneurs, helping them create or retain more than 14,000 jobs across Georgia. With the onset of the pandemic, ACE pivoted to providing capital with pandemic relief benefits including payment deferments and forgiveness, along with business advisory services, as well as assistance with accessing federal funds, like Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
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About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation to enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We work to promote the well-being of humanity and make opportunity universal. Our focus is on scaling renewable energy for all, stimulating economic mobility, and ensuring equitable access to healthy and nutritious food. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.