Progressive Insurance has announced that it is accepting applications for its Driving Business Forward grant program, which aims to support Black entrepreneurs.
The program will award $25,000 grants to each of the 10 small business owners who are selected to help them purchase commercial vehicles for their businesses.
While 20% of Black Americans start businesses, only 4% of these businesses survive the start-up stage, mainly due to the difficulty Black business owners have in accessing financing.
The grant program is designed to help close this gap for Black entrepreneurs and support their businesses.
Progressive is working with Hello Alice, a financial technology organization that helps small businesses access capital, to administer the grant program.
The program aims to invest in inclusive entrepreneurship so that all Americans with an entrepreneurial spirit can access the funding, tools, and resources they need to succeed.
"At Progressive, we recognize the challenges that small business owners face each day. Our hope is that this program will provide assistance to Black entrepreneurs as they navigate their small business journey and help them overcome any barriers," said Karen Bailo, commercial lines president at Progressive Insurance.
Applications are now open for the program, and the deadline for submissions is June 2, 2023, at 6 p.m. ET. Eligible individuals will need to sign up for a free Hello Alice account and complete their application.
A committee will review the applications according to the criteria outlined in the terms and conditions, and recipients will be notified via email and publicly announced in August.
Full eligibility requirements, including restricted businesses, can be found in the program's terms and conditions.
This is the second year that Progressive has launched the Driving Business Forward grant program, with the brand previously awarding 10 Hispanic business owners each with a $25,000 grant to help propel their small businesses.
Progressive has committed a total of $600,000 to small businesses in partnership with Hello Alice, inclusive of the 2023 program.
"We are excited to work with Progressive again this year and host the Driving Small Business Forward Grant Program. Recipients will be able to drive their business forward with the capital needed to purchase a commercial vehicle," said Elizabeth Gore, co-founder and president of Hello Alice.
The Driving Business Forward grant program is an excellent opportunity for Black entrepreneurs to receive support and resources to grow their businesses.
Progressive and Hello Alice's commitment to investing in inclusive entrepreneurship ensures that small business owners of all backgrounds and ethnicities can access the funding they need to succeed.