Washington, DC– Wells Fargo & Company has awarded the Black Male Entrepreneur (BME) Institute, an accelerator focused on the development and growth of Black Male Millennial Entrepreneurs, $100,000 for the fall programming . “To earn support from such a prestigious institution as Wells Fargo, whose values are mission aligned with ours, further validates the purpose of BME. As we continue our mission, we are excited to not only receive financial support but also utilize the many resources their institution offers. We look forward to working with the Wells Fargo team in codifying this partnership” says Jean.
The BME Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), was established to increase the presence, success and visibility of successful black male millennial entrepreneurs nationally and in select global markets; who aim to decrease the unemployment rate and address a social or civic challenge in the respective regions. BME was co-founded in 2015 by Howard R. Jean, who developed the framework as a proactive solution to support budding entrepreneurs while shifting the paradigm regarding the perception of Black Men in America. “Understanding the challenges faced by fellow entrepreneurs, while realizing the lack of accelerators focused on Black Men, I felt it necessary to fill this void. It is imperative that systems and initiatives are positioned that focus on supporting the growth of black men as millionaires in arenas other than sports and music. Furthermore, never hearing someone tell me “I want you to become a millionaire” is problematic and we at BME are here to change that.” says Jean.
The BME Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC is an intense 16-week accelerator that takes a hybrid and holistic approach to developing entrepreneurs. Meeting twice a week for a total of fourteen hours, cohort participant will the accelerator with business mentors, infrastructure tools, exposure to venture capitalists and hundreds of hours of legal and financial consultation. Applications are now being accepted thru July 29th.
The USBC, since inception, has been unwavering in its mission in becoming the national advocate for Black Businesses. “There’s a trillion dollars of spending power in our community and we want to make sure that dollar stays within our community. Twenty-eight days a dollar stays in the Asian community, twenty-one days a dollar stays in the Hispanic community. In our community, our dollar leaves within six hours. We have got to change that and BME is integral to that change, this is true economic and social justice and send a stronger message than marching against injustice ”, says Ron Busby, Sr. CEO and President of USBC.
Jean also added, “This investment into the lives of young black men will transform beautiful ideas into viable businesses, support the creation of meaningful jobs across industry and become the catalyst that motivates others to invest in this cause”.