The MVP Accelerator has put forth a model that will foster innovation in the Black community. We at the Harlem Business Alliance highly support this initiative.” says Regina Smith, Executive Director at HBA.
NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 26, 2021
MVP Accelerator Inc. (“MVP”/ http://www.mvpaccelerator.com), a diversity-focused SBA Growth Accelerator, today announced its new “Equity Online Initiative” (“EOI”), a technical assistance program to launch 100 Black-owned e-commerce ventures in 2021 and 2022.
Phase I of the EOI program will be to increase representation of Black-owned companies selling on eCommerce websites such as Amazon.com. Amazon has more than 49% share of the US e-commerce Market and achieved record sales during the pandemic, as consumers favored shopping from home. However, due to insufficient research, its unclear what percentage of those sellers were Black-owned firms or how much they may have contributed to Amazons record fourth quarter sales of $96 billion. MVP therefore aims to strategically position Black Entrepreneurs “in front” of the platform giant’s 2 billion monthly internet visitors, thereby increasing the odds of future growth and revenues.
Led by co-founders D. Bernard Webster (https://bit.ly/2Y6YmRM) and Khalilah Webster (http://bit.ly/3sQ8JYd), MVP was organized as a research and development arm of their parent company, Infront Strategies Consulting Corp (“INFRONT”/ http://www.infrontstrategies.com). INFRONT is a NYC-based MBE consultancy specializing in entrepreneurship education, direct training services, and deployed technology solutions. Through the EOI program, MVP will provide qualifying candidates with existing firms, strategies for capitalizing on emerging e-commerce trends during the pandemic and beyond. Simultaneously MVP will work with first-time Black entrepreneurs to design, develop, and distribute new products that fit high growth categories online.
INFRONT’s co-founders believe this effort to accelerate Black entrepreneurship to be vital, given the disproportionate and devastating impact of COVID-19 on Black Businesses nationwide. In New York State alone, Black business ownership fell by 70%, as first reported by the NY Federal Reserve Bank‘s August 2020 report on “COVID-19’s Concentrated Health and Wealth Effects in Black Communities.” Coupled with record jobless rates for African Americans nationally, the road to post-COVID 19 recovery for Black communities projects to be long and difficult. "Thriving Black businesses operating within their communities, can create the jobs and resources we need to jumpstart our own recovery,” says Khalilah Webster.
D. Bernard Webster adds, “This reality requires a reimagined approach to entrepreneurship education on behalf of Black entrepreneurs. MVP offers minority and women founders turn-key opportunities to reduce traditional barriers to entry with high yield access to the web’s sizable consumer audiences.”
“This is a critical point in 2021, demanding that Black entrepreneurs receive hyper-focused, high quality, culturally sensitive support in the form of intensive individualized technical assistance, back-office support, and capital. The MVP Accelerator has put forth a model that will foster innovation in the Black community. We at the Harlem Business Alliance highly support this initiative.” says Regina Smith, Executive Director at HBA.
MVP also aims to launch a $5 million standalone equity fund to grow its accelerated EOI firm portfolio. Through the fund, MVP will make 100 company investments of $20,000 to $30,000 while facilitating access to low-cost lines of credit and short term micro-loans through partnered Community Development Financial Institutions and local development corporations. MVP will open applications for it’s online program starting February 18th 2021, and has partnered with New York Tech School of Management (NYIT.EDU/SOM) to initiate Phase III of the EOI program, including product development, prototyping, and expanding operations online for Black Entrepreneurs.
About MVP Accelerator, Inc. (MVP)
Accelerator, Inc. is the first University Affiliated Accelerator dedicated to Black Entrepreneurs pioneering Mobile-Social-Digital Companies in NYC and was designated a regional US Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator in 2015. MVP was later relaunched by D. Bernard Webster and Khalilah Webster, both experts in tech entrepreneurship and small business education in NYC. Both co-founders are mentors with the City of New York’s Department of Small Business Services, training thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs annually.
About Infront Strategies Consulting Corp. (INFRONT)
INFRONT drives cross-industry value through the operation of (3) agile strategic business units. INFRONT manages VANGUARDE DIGITAL LLC (INFRONT-VD/ http://www.vanguardenyc.com), and OPEN DOOR LLC (INFRONT-OD/ http://www.odaep.org), as certified MBE’s within the City of New York. INFRONT’s third SBU, MVP Accelerator, Inc./ (INFRONT-MVP/ http://www.mvpaccelerator.com) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation and a recognized US Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator dedicated to the launch of women and minority tech founders (*See MVP’s listing on the SBIR.gov website (https://www.sbir.gov/node/821737).