Aiming to build generational wealth for Black Americans, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has acquired a part ownership stake in the technology firm Hello Alice.
The unprecedented action by the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights group will allow it to boost its relationship with Hello Alice. Based in Houston, Hello Alice is a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. It has 500,000 business owners in all 50 states and globally in its community. It reportedly is the largest digital platform helping small businesses start and scale via access to capital.
The announcement is a first for the NAACP Empowerment Programs, providing it with substantial resources toward advancing the organization’s goals for economic equality for Black communities.
“To champion true racial equity, we need to address the long-standing economic inequality that has left Black communities underfunded and undervalued for centuries,” NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said. The acquisition is also geared to assist Black-owned businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and still recovering from it.
To help back Black-owned businesses on a long-term basis, the NAACP Empowerment Programs first began partnering with Hello Alice to create the Black-owned Business Resource Center. It includes capital and networking opportunities for Black small business owners nationwide.
Some 40% of small business owners on Hello Alice’s platform identify as Black business owners. As part-owner, the NAACP Empowerment Programs now holds voting rights and fully vested equity in Hello Alice. As Hello Alice grows its valuation and revenue, the NAACP Empowerment Programs will gain the same financial earnings as other investors to benefit the civil rights group and the communities it serves.
“It’s time for the word equity to hold its full meaning in business,” said Elizabeth Gore, co-founder and president of Hello Alice. “Black business owners are the most entrepreneurial of any ethnicity in our country, and a critical customer set of our business. As a platform focused on the new majority, the NAACP Empowerment Programs share our values to ensure all small business owners have access to the capital they need to scale. This is the best economic bet we can make.”