Largest grant in ACE’s history will be used to provide inclusive, affordable and flexible capital for minority-owned small businesses in rural, underserved Georgia communities
ACE | Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs is pleased to announce a $3.75 million commitment from Truist Foundation to launch the Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Small Business Capital strategy through ACE to help borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses that generate jobs. This grant serves as the largest philanthropic corporate gift in ACE’s history.
To meet increased demand and support the growing needs of Georgia’s small business owners in rural and underserved communities, ACE aims to expand its lending capabilities beyond its current 68-county footprint in Georgia, which includes metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Truist Foundation’s grant will help enable ACE to provide increased equitable loan capital for minority-owned small businesses over three years. ACE will also leverage the capital to continue spurring local job creation and retention while seeding start-up program operations and infrastructure for an expansion into South Georgia.
Bill Rogers, chairman and CEO of Truist Financial Corporation; Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation; Katie Saez, Georgia regional president for Truist; and Christopher Nunn, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, joined Grace Fricks, president and CEO of ACE, at Westside Future Fund on Friday, December 9th to make the announcement, sharing details of the grant and the impact equitable lending can have on generational wealth for individuals and communities currently underserved in Georgia. Rhonda Barnett, Owner of Building Foundations Learning Academy, LLC represented ACE well by sharing her inspiring entrepreneurial journey – including how ACE assisted her with the capital and coaching she needed for her business along the way.
“Truist Foundation gives to community-led organizations that address the deep, systemic inequities and provide innovative solutions to help minority-owned businesses grow and thrive,” said Bell. “We are proud to partner with ACE and its work to eradicate barriers to entry for minority entrepreneurs, building a more equitable economy across Georgia.”
This grant is part of the $120 million joint Truist and Truist Foundation commitment to strengthening and supporting small businesses nationwide, with a particular focus on Black, Latine, and women-owned businesses. ACE’s work to grow minority-owned sustainable businesses that generate jobs aligns with Truist’s purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities.
“Truist’s support is helping propel the beginning phases of our statewide expansion to serve more small businesses throughout Georgia, providing needed capital to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), women and low-income entrepreneurs over the next three years,” said Fricks. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities, family well-being, and our economy. And collaborations like this enable us to be on the frontlines helping them to not only survive, but to thrive.”
Read full press release HERE.
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