US Small Business Administration Announces Landmark Collaboration with Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities to Close the Black Entrepreneurship Wealth Gap – Yahoo Finance | Region & Cash

First-of-its-kind agreement focused on improving financial literacy, outreach and access to capital in all communities

Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM)

Signatories: Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman & Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Panhellenic Council and Major Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Participants: National Pan – Hellenic Council Members

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzmanhead of US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s cabinet, signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM)— an authority reserved only to the SBA among federal agencies — with President Reuben A. Shelton III, Esq., on behalf of the Presidential Council of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which consists of nine historically black fraternities and sororities, sometimes also referred to as the “Divine Nine”.

“This historic alliance between the SBA and the NPHC — the first of its kind for a government agency — will make the SBA’s valuable small business resources accessible to many small businesses and entrepreneurs, and the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to building equity.” and historic business deals fueling wealth inequality that has held America’s black entrepreneurs, small business owners, and their families and communities back for generations.” said Administrator Guzman. “Over the past 18 months, the SBA has made incredible strides, reaching more of America’s small businesses and providing critical resources and support to historically underinvested and overlooked entrepreneurs – the same people and communities who… most affected by the COVID pandemic. Working with partners and allies within the Divine Nine will give the SBA even greater reach to provide the highly entrepreneurial Black community with greater access to networking, financial literacy, technical training and capital readiness to enable them to successfully achieve their American dreams of business ownership . Create jobs and advance our economy.”

Announced ahead of June 16, this new strategic alliance furthers the SBA’s implementation of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to building justice across the federal government and across America. Under the new alliance, a unique agreement for a federal agency, the partnership is focused on improving financial literacy in traditionally underserved, disadvantaged communities, expanding the agency’s reach, and introducing black entrepreneurs to the tools and resources of the SBA to: start and grow their businesses, including access to capital, government procurement opportunities and advice.

Ruben A. Shelton III, Esq., Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Panhellenic Council and Great Polemarch of Added Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc: “The National Pan Hellenic Council and its affiliated organizations are delighted to have this opportunity with the US Small Business Administration. This collaboration will give NPHC members critical access to information that will fuel small business growth and create jobs in all sectors of our economy.”

The NPHC often has a presence on thousands of campuses, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with members in leadership positions in civil, business, and faith communities. The NPHC has more than 2.5 million active members and numerous alumni members. Collectively, this group of dedicated leaders is a critical ally in building trust in key communities and providing critical resources to small business owners to improve their business outcomes as we seek to close the wealth gap. The NPHC represents the following organizations:

  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Brotherhood, Inc.

  • Omega Psi Phi Brotherhood, Inc.

  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

  • Phi Beta Sigma Brotherhood, Inc.

  • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.

The SBA has increased its engagement and support of African American, Black and historically disadvantaged small business owners.

Consistent with the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda outlined in the recently released SBA Equity Action Plan, the SBA has made several key changes to level the playing field for all small businesses, including manufacturing Impactful reforms to the Community Advantage (CA) pilot loan program. which prioritizes equitable access to capital for low-income borrowers and those from underserved communities, Disclosure of Disaggregated Data across industries and sectors by race and ethnicity, and Contribution to the implementation of the treaty reforms to attract new, diverse contractors and launch America’s $100 million bailout plan contract Community Navigators Program.

In addition, the SBA has expanded the number of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) it supports to 146 – the largest WBC network in SBA history. Specifically, under Administrator Guzman, this investment represents a tripling of WBCs at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). As of March 2021, the full list of WBCs housed on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) campuses now includes:

  • Miles College, Fairfield, Alabama

  • Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia

  • Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

  • Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland

  • Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi

  • Alcorn State University, Lorman, Mississippi

  • Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Winston-Salem State University, Winston Salem, North Carolina

  • Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina

  • Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia

SBA remains committed to raising capital for small businesses, including those in underserved communities. This means ensuring that business owners have access to capital, Standard and catastrophe loan programs and PPP direct forgiveness as well as assisting in increasing their revenues by bringing their products online or to global markets and accessing federal states contracting opportunities, often by connecting them to one of the agency’s newly launched communities navigators, Hundreds of branch offices or thousands of resource partner – including Development centers for small businesses, business centers for women, SCORE chapters and Veteran’s Business Ownership Center – for mentoring, training and assistance in navigating government resources.

For more information on SBA funding opportunities, visit

Please click here to view photos from the signing event.


About the US Small Business Administration

The US Small Business Administration is helping to advance the American dream of business ownership. As the single point of contact and voice for small businesses, backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand, or diversify their business a statement to recover disaster. It offers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

About the National Panhellenic Council

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was founded on May 10, 1930 at Howard University in Washington, DC. The purpose is to encourage cooperative action by its members in dealing with matters of common interest. To this end, the NPHC promotes the well-being of its affiliated fraternities and sororities, facilitates the establishment and development of NPHC local councils, and provides leadership training for its members.


CONTACT: Press Office United States Small Business Administration

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