Team members from Wells Fargo, ACE, Morehouse College and Morehouse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center celebrate the grant presentation at the African American Hall of Fame at Morehouse College on Tuesday evening, January 21.

Diverse Community Capital Program invests in Atlanta to help underserved entrepreneurs grow

ATLANTA, Jan. 21, 2020 – The Wells Fargo Foundation is investing $2.8 million with ACE – Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. – to accelerate the growth of diverse small businesses and help create 500 jobs.

The Diverse Community Capital funding will help ACE to provide nearly $30 million in loans for at least 250 diverse small businesses. A new loan guarantee program will provide high-risk business owners with greater access to capital and technical assistance.

In addition, ACE will expand an in-house development program for women entrepreneurs and partner with Morehouse College, the nation’s only historically black college for men, on an entrepreneurship training program. Both programs will focus on activating growth and building business acumen for existing small businesses poised to scale.

ACE will collaborate with Morehouse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC) to offer management education training to diverse entrepreneurs.

“Empowering small businesses is a direct and impactful way to stimulate job growth,” said Brandee McHale, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “ACE’s professionals are experts at identifying and coaching diverse small business owners who are ready to learn how to take their business to the next level. Collaborating locally helps us strengthen the small business ecosystem, which in turn, builds job opportunities and a deeper sense of community.”

Grace Fricks, CEO of ACE, noted: “Affordable capital fuels successful business growth. Through this opportunity, metro 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’re excited about this opportunity which allows MIEC to not only expand our offerings to diverse businesses in the community, but to also provide an avenue for student internships and engagement with real world small businesses,” said MIEC Director Tiffany Bussey. “I would like to thank the Wells Fargo Foundation and ACE for investing in the future success of diverse entrepreneurs.”

Started in 2015, the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital program is a five-year, $175 million commitment to empower diverse small businesses in collaboration with Opportunity Finance Network. To date, the program has delivered more than 322,000 hours of technical assistance and $781 million in financing to minority-owned small businesses, enabling more than 103,000 jobs across the U.S.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,500 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 32 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 261,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2019 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

About Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs

ACE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides loans and business consulting services to help borrowers throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia create and grow stable, sustainable businesses that generate jobs. Since 2000, ACE has loaned more than $70 million to more than 1000 entrepreneurs, who have created or saved over 8,000 jobs in Georgia. ACE’s hallmark service is its combination of capital, coaching and connections. ACE is supported by grants and other forms of funding from banks, foundations, government entities and corporations to assist in its mission to help underserved business owners. ACE has offices in Westside Atlanta and Cleveland, Ga., and an ACE Women’s Business Center in Norcross, Ga. For more information, visit www.aceloans.org.

About Morehouse College

Morehouse College is the nation’s largest liberal arts institution for men. Founded in 1867, the college enrolls approximately 2,200 students and is the nation’s top producer of black men who go on to receive doctorates. Morehouse is also the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs with five Morehouse Men receiving the honor. Historically, Morehouse has conferred more bachelor’s degrees on black men than any other institution in the world. Prominent alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. Morehouse currently has more than 17,000 alumni in 40 states and 14 countries. For more information visit www.morehouse.edu.

 

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