In partnership with NAACP and Hello Alice, the Foundation has committed $200,000 to date in microgrant funding to small business owners of color
Today, the Nextdoor Kind Foundation announced the opening of the application period for the return of its small business microgrant program, the Keep It Local Business Fund. Together with continuing partners the NAACP, the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation, and Hello Alice, the free platform helping over one million small businesses launch and grow, the Fund will provide $5,000 microgrants to entrepreneurs of color, to help local businesses thrive and strengthen their communities.
During its inaugural launch earlier this year, the grant program awarded a total of $100,000 in microgrants to small business entrepreneurs, enabling them to help strengthen and support communities at a local level. More than 7,000 grant application submissions were received from across the country from a variety of industries including construction, wellness, educational services, food service and more.
“The overwhelming number and quality of applicants we received during the first phase of the Keep It Local Business Fund demonstrates not only the need for resources, but also the drive and ingenuity of small business owners to fuel their growth,” said Shireen Santosham, Executive Director, Nextdoor Kind Foundation. “We are excited to continue the momentum with the second round of the Fund and growing this nationwide network of local leaders with the next 20 grantees.”
“The NAACP is proud to once again partner with the Nextdoor Kind Foundation for the 2nd opening of the Keep It Local Fund,” said NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson. “This initiative empowers individuals and celebrates the strength of community which, when provided the resources to thrive, fosters a collective effort in enhancing quality of life in local neighborhoods. Through the Keep It Local Fund, we are not only improving our nation's small businesses, but strengthening equity throughout the country as a whole."
"Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. and it's vital they get the financial support needed to scale and continue to contribute to the economy," said Elizabeth Gore, President and Co-founder of Hello Alice. "We're looking forward to continuing to grow this network with NAACP and the Nextdoor Kind Foundation to provide equitable access to capital to small business owners to make positive impacts in their communities."
Microgrants Grants Make Impact in Communities
Small businesses make up the vast majority of businesses in the U.S., heavily contributing to local communities, economies, and innovation. While the sector continues to grow, due to systemic barriers, entrepreneurs of color are less likely to have access to capital and business mentorship than other entrepreneurs. Beginning July 26 through September 4th, 2023, eligible small businesses can apply for a $5,000 grant through the Keep It Local Business Fund. In addition to the grant, recipients will receive resources and tools to grow their business including pro bono advertising on the Nextdoor (NYSE: KIND) platform and access to personalized training.
“The advice that I give to other business owners that are considering applying for the grant is to make clear plans for your success,” said inaugural Keep It Local Business Fund grant recipient, Brittie Crawford, founder of the World City Center, a dual-language preschool located in the West Adams area of Los Angeles emphasizing cross-cultural exploration, anti-bias education, and social-emotional development. “Write down your goals, believe you can achieve them, and then set out to put them into action. When you put your goals into action, remember to work as hard as you've ever worked for companies that you have worked for in the past for yourself.”
To read more about February 2023 grant recipients, visit here.
The Nextdoor Kind Foundation believes that neighbors are the best source of ideas to improve their own communities. Through the Keep It Local Business Fund microgrant program and ongoing initiatives, the foundation continues its mission to enable individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses to solve challenges and positively impact their own neighborhoods and communities.
To learn more about the Keep It Local Business Fund, visit the Nextdoor Kind Foundation here.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. The NAACP has over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Their mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
About Hello Alice
Founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice is a free platform serving more than one million small business owners across the United States. Committed to equitable access to capital for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and entrepreneurs with disabilities, Hello Alice offers funding, education, tools, and curated opportunities. Working with enterprise business services, ecosystem partners, affiliates, and government agencies, Hello Alice provides its growing community with everything they need to grow their businesses. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.