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B.U.I.L.D. Collaborative’s small business grant program receives key investment from Bank of America

B.U.I.L.D. Collaborative’s small business grant program receives key investment from Bank of America

The B.U.I.L.D. Collaborative’s Small Business Grant Program was launched in fall 2020 to provide economic relief to small businesses navigating the pandemic. Understanding the ongoing need for small business support, Bank of America has funded the $200,000 continuation of the B.U.I.L.D. program. B.U.I.L.D., shepherded by The DEC@Redbird, has deployed two cycles of support with microgrants of up to $3,500 and has provided coaching support to more than 50 small business owners.

Awardees were mostly in the startup or growth stage of business with 80.4% of them women and 82.6% of them entrepreneurs of color. Less than one-third of awardees had experienced previous business advising.

“Bank of America’s support is an urgently needed investment in the community that will allow us to continue the important work of assisting Southern Dallas’ small business owners of color and women business owners,” said Demetra Brown, senior director of The DEC Network. “This program serves as a catalyst to the success of small business owners, who desperately need the microgrants Bank of America’s funding will supply.”

B.U.I.L.D., which stands for Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Dallas,

is a collaborative that was developed in alignment with the City of Dallas’ small business strategy specifically to support women founders, entrepreneurs of color and small business owners in Southern Dallas. Underrepresented small business owners face a multitude of obstacles when it comes to accessing the proper funding and resources for their businesses. Finding these resources is often a difficult, time-consuming and frustrating process.

Denishea Williams, owner of Unkom Enterprises, was a recipient of the 2020 B.U.I.L.D. Microgrant pilot program. B.U.I.L.D. helped Denishea access capital and business coaching resources in a timely and stress-free manner, ultimately allowing her business to find its footing amid the pandemic.

“Being able to access the grant allowed me to stop, breathe and finally ask experts how to proceed with my business,” Williams said. “I left with a clear mission, vision and funds to upgrade my systems and computer so I can be accessible to my new clients and hopeful employees.”

Bank of America is committed to the support and advancement of equality in the communities it serves. This investment is aligned to the bank’s broader efforts to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity through its five-year, $1.25 billion commitment focused on health, jobs and reskilling, affordable housing, and small business, as these areas are where systemic, long-term gaps have existed and where significant change is required to achieve sustainable progress.

“For many years, Bank of America has worked with nonprofit partners and other leaders across public and private sectors in DFW to help drive economic mobility for underrepresented populations. Through the B.U.I.L.D. program, The DEC Network is doing incredible work to help strengthen our community’s vitality by addressing needs related to small business and entrepreneurship,” said Jennifer Chandler, president, Bank of America Dallas. “Bank of America is a champion of diversity in small business, and it is a pleasure to support The DEC Network in making the dream of entrepreneurship a reality.”

Go to dallasbuilds.org for information about applying to the program.

About the DEC Network

The DEC Network is a 501c3 non-profit organization driving innovation and economic impact by helping entrepreneurs start, build, and grow their businesses. Since 2013, it has launched a number of innovation hubs across DFW that provide entrepreneurs with education, mentorship, community, and advocacy.