SBA Administrator, Isabel Casillas Guzmán, visiting LA.
Isabel Casillas Guzmán, Administrator of the SBA, in Los Angeles. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

SBA and Operation HOPE team up to empower Black businesses

The announcement was made from Los Angeles by John Hope Bryant, founder, president and CEO of Operation HOPE Inc.


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Operation HOPE Inc., the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the financial empowerment of diverse communities, recently announced the implementation of a strategic agreement with the Small Business Administration (SBA) through New Alliance.

Through the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM), aimed at promoting the development of entrepreneurial potential within the black community, federal organizations, as well as interested local entities, joined forces to create awareness of the tools and resources that can benefit to entrepreneurs in America's diverse communities.

Isabel Casillas Guzmán, SBA Administrator, stated:

Partnering with Operation HOPE is an important step as our SBA team works to reach and lift up more entrepreneurs in communities all across America.

Relevant Alliance

Highlighting the value of this new alliance, the SBA and Operation HOPE were part of the event organized in Los Angeles by the Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC), an organization that facilitates community development to revitalize the physical, economic and social life of residents of the South LA and beyond, an opportunity they took to highlight the resources and programs of these two organizations, which aspiring and existing Black entrepreneurs in various communities benefit from, so they can establish, grow and scale.

“Our work together will help advance President Biden’s vision for an economy that works for all Americans and is built from the bottom up and the middle out. Delivering on that means ensuring all of our nation’s entrepreneurs have access to the SBA programs that can help them start, grow and build resilient businesses, and I couldn’t ask for a better ally in this effort than John and the Operation HOPE team,” added Casillas Guzmán.

About SBA-Operation HOPE Alliance

This new strategic alliance, launched on the heels of Black Business Month, offers small business owners in historically underrepresented communities advice and learning aimed at reducing barriers to accessing critical capital, building relationships across the supply chain, and generate new revenue streams to scale to success.

Beneficiary businesses will have access to a series of workshops, conferences, seminars and other activities to discuss SBA financing, government contracting opportunities, and other relevant topics.

Highlights include:

  • Focus on community-based outreach and education, by supporting Operation HOPE's free training services, credit counseling, small business, and homeowner education programs, among others.
  • Nationwide expansion of Operation HOPE's signature financial education campaigns for small business owners, such as the 1 Million Black Businesses (1MBB) Initiative and Financial Literacy for All (FL4A), adopted by more than 50 Fortune 500 companies and global institutions.
  • Expanded access to SBA resources and strategic advantages for mentorship, training, and assistance in navigating government resources, including leveraging the agency's recently launched community navigators, hundreds of field offices, or thousands of partners including Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women's Business Centers (WBCs), SCORE chapters, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs).

“Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit, determination, a clear understanding of how money works, and most importantly how to access critical resources. Through this groundbreaking partnership with the SBA, we are on a mission to teach diverse communities how to succeed in business and build sustainable wealth for their families and their communities. Thanks to the leadership of Administrator Guzman, our collective effort will reaffirm that the American Dream is within reach,” underscore Hope Bryant.

Some of the selected cities include, but are not limited to: Atlanta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Miami, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Murfreesboro, Tennessee; New York City, New York; Pensacola, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida; Washington D.C.

For additional information on SBA funding opportunities, click here.

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This article is part of Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project among more than 20 news organizations, focused on economic mobility in Philadelphia. Read all of our reporting at



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