Congresswoman Nikema Williams Leads Legislation to Support Entrepreneurs at HBCUs and Other Minority-Serving Institutions 

(WASHINGTON) – Ahead of Small Business Saturday, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) a member of the Exclusive House Committee on Financial Services led the introduction of the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act, bipartisan legislation that creates a grant program with the Small Business Administration for entrepreneurs at minority-serving institutions like Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Norma Torres (CA-35) are co-leading the introduction of the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act.  

Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) a member of the Exclusive House Committee on Financial Services said: 

“Too often, Black and brown entrepreneurs face enormous barriers to accessing the capital needed to launch and sustain businesses. The Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program will help to break down those barriers and ensure that the next generation of minority business owners have a fair shot at the promise of America. Investing in minority-owned businesses is also one path on the journey to close the racial wealth gap. I am proud to advance legislation to continue creating equity in entrepreneurship opportunity for everyone–no matter your ZIP Code, no matter your bank account.”

Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) said: 

“Small businesses are the job creating engines of our economy. The Bipartisan Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act will ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to not just survive, but to thrive. This legislation will ease the burdens facing small and disadvantaged businesses by providing necessary grant funding.”

Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) said: 

“Minority small businesses are a vital part of the economic fabric of Philadelphia and the nation. That is why I am proud to co-lead the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act and am confident in this legislation’s ability to benefit the students of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I remain committed to promoting economic equity and uplifting America’s next generation of minority entrepreneurs.” 

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) said: 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and allow communities to flourish. The bipartisan Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act will empower minority innovators and entrepreneurs to start their own small businesses and I’m proud to join my colleagues on this legislation.” 

Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA-35) said: 

“Small businesses are vital to California’s economy and drive the economic success of regions like the Inland Empire. However, access to capital is one of the biggest barriers to entrepreneurship for too many. Our bipartisan bill, the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act, will empower diverse communities by creating new startup funding for minority entrepreneurs and will bolster America’s economy by spurring innovation.” 

Nancy Flake Johnson, President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta said: 

“We enthusiastically support the innovative measure introduced today by Congresswoman Nikema Williams to increase entrepreneurship in communities of color. By promoting small business development at colleges and universities that historically serve people of color, The Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act will help ensure a pipeline of successful minority entrepreneurs. Statistics show that minority entrepreneurs disproportionately struggle to receive adequate financing to stay in business. Bloomberg reports, for example, that eight of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within the first 18 months. We applaud Congresswoman Williams and her colleagues for taking action to address an issue of this magnitude and to improve the rate of sustainability and success for small businesses owned by Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous entrepreneurs.”

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.

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