Advancing Black Employee Ownership

Above mural, ‘Our Liberation,’ in Oakland, California, by muralist Rachel Wolfe Goldsmith

Over the last 10 years, Project Equity has demonstrated the power of employee ownership conversions to preserve legacy businesses and build wealth for both selling owners and employees. In 2023, we launched the Black Employee Ownership Initiative to deepen our commitment to expanding employee ownership to Black business owners and businesses with a concentration of Black workers. As a data-driven organization, it was fitting that we launched the Black Employee Ownership Initiative by releasing two groundbreaking reports in partnership with Morehouse College. These reports explore the racial wealth gap, the unique challenges facing Black business owners, and the opportunities for employee ownership to build Black wealth.

As the program manager for the Black Employee Ownership Initiative at Project Equity, I’m excited to focus our efforts to expand employee ownership with Black owners and Black workers starting in six key cities: Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Los Angeles, CA; and Saint Paul, MN.

In each of these cities we’re building relationships with business support organizations, service providers, local government officials, and business owners through in-person events, webinars, convenings, and 1-on-1 consultations.

Our Black Employee Ownership Initiative is a collaborative effort and a place to innovate and test new strategies that will increase the number of Black employee-owned businesses. As we build the pipeline for transitions, we’ll be sharing the impact stories of Black workers and business owners to normalize employee ownership as a Black wealth building strategy. I’m excited to document and share our learnings and impact as we grow this initiative.

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