25 Jan 2023

Transformational BETA Program aims to Create a Pipeline to Business Ownership and a Better Financial Future for People of Color

Josh Pereira


Connecting aspiring entrepreneurs of color with business owners looking to transition away from ownership with ease and support is the crux of a transformational new program – BIPOC Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (BETA). The program is designed to reduce racial inequity, create a pipeline to business ownership for underrepresented entrepreneurs and ease the process of acquiring and owning a new business.

The BETA program was developed by the New Majority Capital Foundation to create a better financial future for people of color by providing access to and increasing the number of businesses owned by people of color across Rhode Island.

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition is the process of acquiring and growing an already established business. This program is timely, as Rhode Island ranks third highest in average business owner age and close to 60% of businesses owners in the state will look to transition their business in the next two decades.

Over 80% of U.S. employer businesses are white owned. Black, Indigenous, and people of color business participation in Rhode Island lags the national average. Roughly 7.4% of the state’s 21,000 businesses have BIPOC owners, far below their relative population share and nearly half the nation’s average. Nationally, 18.3% of all businesses with employees are BIPOC-owned, more than twice the rate for Rhode Island.

BETA addresses this inequity by facilitating business acquisition for entrepreneurs of color seeking to acquire a new business while providing critical training and technical support to ensure success.

“The program fills a significant gap in the market to increase small business ownership among underrepresented people, and particularly BIPOC communities,” said Havell Rodrigues

NMCF has partnered with the Initiative for Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Babson College to develop and deliver BETA’s innovative curriculum that supports BIPOC entrepreneurs to help them become aware of the “entrepreneurship through acquisition” opportunity and give them the skills training they need to become a successful new small business owner.

John A. Tarantino, managing trustee of the Papitto Opportunity Connection, said, “POC is thrilled to support the BETA program, which fills a significant gap in the market to increase small businesses owned by people of color in Rhode Island. By providing access, exposure, and the necessary tools for people of color to own and operate a successful business, we are changing the landscape of business ownership across the state.”

BETA offers an end-to-end approach, which includes a unique, robust curriculum; skills training; technical resources; and hands-on support through transition. Upon completion of the course work, the participants will have a tool kit and skill set that will provide them with the knowledge and confidence to navigate the next steps of acquiring a small business.

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