New Voices Foundation & JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways Launch Banking Bootcamp to Help Women of Color Entrepreneurs Build Stronger Banking Relationships

by cdawkins

New Voices Foundation and JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways initiative are developing and hosting the New Voices Banking Bootcamp – a business banking educational program.

Slated to start later this month, the bootcamp is designed to help women of color entrepreneurs establish strong business banking relationships and expand their access to capital, which is critical to business growth and success. Small businesses that are led by women of color entrepreneurs, for example, are often unable to access both private and public funding opportunities due to weak banking relationships and other factors.

The New Voices Banking Bootcamp seeks to help fill this gap by providing business banking and finance education, as well as a $10,000 award upon completion of the bootcamp.

From Monday, November 30 through December 18, the New Voices Banking Bootcamp will conduct three intensive program sessions to engage 15 participants in workshops to help them:

  • Master their business finances and understand banking/capital models and risk analyses.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with banks and other key financial institutions.
  • Better position their companies to secure capital to grow and scale in the future.

Applications for the bootcamp are open through Nov. 22.

The program design was shaped by a May 2020 survey of nearly 1,200 women of color entrepreneurs conducted by the New Voices Foundation. During the survey, the respondents shared how their businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and details on their banking relationships.

“The [survey] data reinforces what we already knew,” said Richelyna Hall, New Voices Foundation’s Chief Impact Officer. “The importance of capital to small businesses’ ability to grow and thrive cannot be overstated. Access to capital continues to be out of reach for women of color entrepreneurs with investors both less likely to be exposed to these entrepreneurs and less willing to diversify their applicant pools. Moreover, research has shown that most investors have different standards for women of color when evaluating their funding eligibility. New Voices is committed to helping women-of-color-led businesses learn and implement banking and financial best practices, and the New Voices Banking Bootcamp will jump start the process for participants.”

New Voices Foundation and JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways are keenly aware that the existence, quality and/or depth of an entrepreneur’s relationships with lending institutions significantly impacts their chances of business loan approval.

According to the New Voices Foundation May 2020 survey— almost three-fourths (72.86%) of the respondents said they have either a weak relationship, very weak relationship, or no relationship with any type of lending institution. A recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York report[1] substantiated the finding that Black entrepreneurs entered the COVID-19 pandemic at an alarming disadvantage:

“We find that Black employer firms were less likely to enter the pandemic from a strong financial position than white-owned firms, with smaller shares of Black firms operating at a profit, having a high credit score, and using retained business earnings to fund the business. [Forty-two percent] met at least two of these criteria, compared to 73% of white employers.”

New Voices Foundation and JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways are equally committed to changing the narrative for women minority-owned business owners.

“We are committed to building and advancing an inclusive banking system, and as part of this effort, we are intentionally focused on helping Black and Latinx entrepreneurs get access to the capital, tools and insights that they’ll need to grow and scale their businesses,” said Brian Lamb, JPMorgan Chase’s Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion. “This collaboration with the New Voices Foundation aligns with our efforts to invest in Black and Latinx job creators, and put them on a pathway to sustained success.”

The New Voices Banking Bootcamp is designed in accordance with both New Voices Foundation and Advancing Black Pathways’ common goals of empowering Black entrepreneurs and helping them to forge brighter and more sustainable futures.


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