Aprio Launches 10-year Partnership with Operation HOPE’s 1MBB Initiative

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Partnership empowers Black entrepreneurs with vital financial skills to build thriving businesses

This partnership reinforces Aprio’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and provides our team members with opportunities to create meaningful and lasting change.

Aprio, LLP, a nationally recognized business advisory and CPA firm, announced today that it has launched a 10-year partnership with Operation HOPE’s One Million Black Businesses (1MBB) initiative, which will include providing business and financial advisory as well as educational services to aspiring Black entrepreneurs.

Aprio team members from across the U.S. will have the opportunity to volunteer by leading educational sessions and through one-on-one coaching and mentoring, serving as advisors to the 1MBB program participants. The programming kicks off in May to coincide with National Small Business Month, beginning with a series of virtual training sessions.

COVID-19 has stifled small business development and particularly impacted the number of Black business owners, which fell 40% in 2020. Today, there are only 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S., of which 96% have no employees. Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant recognized the opportunity to partner with industry experts to connect current and future business owners to the training and technical assistance they need to succeed.

“Aprio is thrilled to partner with Operation HOPE on the 1MBB project to provide expertise that is critical to running a thriving business. For the last 70 years, Aprio has been partnering with entrepreneurs to drive profitability and growth,” said Richard Kopelman, CEO and Managing Partner at Aprio. “This partnership reinforces Aprio’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and provides our team members with opportunities to create meaningful and lasting change.”

“Aprio leaned in and became the first accounting and advisory firm in the nation to commit to the 1MBB platform and movement,” said Bryant. “Together, we will provide the support Black businesses need to succeed, building diverse business communities and helping diminish the racial wealth gap in the U.S.”

About Aprio
Aprio is a premier, full-service business advisory and certified public accounting firm that advises clients and associates on how to achieve what’s next. Aprio’s associates work as integrated teams across advisory, assurance, tax, outsourcing, talent solutions and private client services, bringing the best thinking and personal commitment to each client. Across practices, Aprio brings together proven expertise, deep understanding and strategic foresight for industries including Manufacturing and Distribution; Non-Profit and Education; Professional Services; Real Estate and Construction; Retail, Franchise and Hospitality; and Technology and Blockchain. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Aprio has grown to over 700 team members. To serve clients wherever life or business may take them, Aprio’s teams speak more than 30 languages and work with clients in over 50 countries. For more, visit https://www.aprio.com.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved — disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities — turning check-cashing customers into banking customers; renters into homeowners; small business dreamers into small business owners; minimum wage workers into living wage consumers; and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is Operation HOPE’s multi-year, four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its seventh consecutive four-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: http://www.OperationHOPE.org.

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Jordan Haywood
Aprio
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