Thriving African-American Small Business

Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative 2/29/24

ELIGIBILITY  |  INELIGIBLE BUSINESSES  |  TIMELINE  |  PARTICIPANTS |  QUESTIONS  | APPLICATION

 

For over 18 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana has offered matching funds to help entrepreneurs multiply their savings. In an effort to close the racial wealth gap and address the many barriers that small, Black-owned businesses have historically faced, UWSELA is excited to offer the Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative. 

The program requires business owners to save $334 monthly over 6 months until $2,000 is saved. UWSELA matches the $2,000 in savings with $10,000 in grant money for a combined total of $12,000 for the business. 

Participants engage in seven months of concentrated instruction designed to help them fine-tune their budgeting skills and improve their profits and viability. Workshops are held monthly at our J. Wayne Leonard and Northshore Prosperity Centers, and participants meet regularly with expert coaches and industry mentors to help grow their business acumen.

 


 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for the program, business owners must meet the following requirements:

  • Business office within Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa or Washington parishes. 

  • 51% Black owned and operated. 

  • In business since 2020. 

  • Annual revenue of $75,000 - $200,000. 

  • In good standing and eligible to do business with the state of Louisiana. 

  • Filed 2022 and 2023 business taxes.  

 


 

INELIGIBLE BUSINESSES

The following types of businesses are NOT eligible for the program:

  • Adult entertainment
  • Gaming
  • Liquor stores
  • Tobacco/VAPE stores
  • Passive real estate investments
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Franchise businesses
  • Cannabis
  • Gig workers (Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart drivers, etc.)

 

 


 

2024 PROGRAM TIMELINE

DATE TIME EVENT
02/29 9:00 a.m. Application Period Opens
03/22 11:59 p.m. DEADLINE TO APPLY
05/01 4:30-6:30 p.m. Workshops begin
11/13 TBD Graduation

 

 


 

QUESTIONS

For questions about this program, please email TAASB@UnitedWaySELA.org.

 


 

2023 THRIVING AFRICAN-AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESS INITIATIVE PARTICIPANTS

Participants in our inaugural TAASB program engaged in seven months of concentrated instruction designed to help them fine-tune their budgeting skills and improve their profits and viability. We host monthly workshops at our J. Wayne Leonard and Northshore Prosperity Centers, and participants meet regularly with coaches to grow their business acumen.

The program closed with a graduation ceremony that included Pitch It presentations, which allowed participants to practice selling their plans to a group of potential investors who would rate each pitch. 

Meet our 2023 cohort.

 


 

Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative Application

TELL US ABOUT YOU
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

We are sorry, only business in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes are eligible for this program.

Industries and sectors
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FINANCES
Do you have business credit?
What type?
TELL US WHY YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE
Please explain why you are interested in participating in the Thriving African American Small Business Initiative. The following statement will be used to determine your readiness for the program.
Did you start your business during the pandemic?
Was your business affected by the pandemic?
How will the funds be used?
DOCUMENTS
Upload requirements
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Do you have the past three years of business tax returns?
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Business bank statements (checking and savings) for the 2 most recent months.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
By signing this application, I affirm that:
  • I am the business owner
  • The information on this application is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge
  • I will participate in all required training
  • I will make monthly savings for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana Thriving African American Small Business Program