Both Black and Latinx Americans have faced higher unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their businesses have been hit harder, too. In Philadelphia, active Black biz ownership fell by 68% from March to July, compared to 44% for white biz owners, per WHYY.

Herman Nyamunga, the director of the Community College of Philadelphia’s (CCP) Power Up Your Business accelerator, believes entrepreneurship can be used as tool for Black and brown communities to fight poverty — but supports are necessary, especially amid unprecedented challenges.

Power Up Your Business is CCP’s neighborhood-based approach to economic development that offers free training to small businesses. It was one of four local programs to share $180,000 in recent grant funding from AT&T designed to support Black and brown entrepreneurs. CCP received $80,000 to fund two accelerator cohorts, which will aim to help 30 entrepreneurs at the launch or growth stages.

Nyamunga said

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