Three Black nonprofits supporting Black businesses were among recipients that recently gained a combined $1 million in grants.
They were winners of the inaugural Truist Foundation Inspire Awards. Nonprofits supporting Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and women-owned small businesses nationwide were invited to offer ways to help those firms better deal with complex challenges, based on a news release.
Black-owned Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) won first place for helping address the city’s racial wealth divide by bolstering Black businesses via research and data, growth and scale, workforce development, retention, and anti-displacement. The Atlanta-based startup landed $250,000 for its project.
“It’s an honor to accept the inaugural Truist Foundation Inspire Award on behalf of the entire Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative community,” said Jason Hudgins, director of strategic programs for AWBI.
“This initiative is not just about business solutions. It really is about looking down the street and seeing Black business owners—and the children they are raising—and understanding how one investment changes that family, the next generation, and a community for generations to come.”
Truist Foundation President Lynette Bell said, “Our first Inspire Awards has been an intensive but incredibly rewarding experience. Reviewing submissions from over 127 nonprofits has shown us the breadth of good being done by organizations to address the key issue of systemic barriers facing small business owners.”
Other recipients included Beautiful Ventures, a Black-owned nonprofit that accelerates the entrepreneurial success of Black, story-driven, creative businesses for lasting wealth creation, business sustainability, and narrative influence. As well as Black Wall Street AVL, a Black-owned nonprofit that prepares women of color to start, grow, and scale businesses in marginalized communities.
Both organizations gained $25,000 each in grants as runners-up in the awards contest.
Some $1 million was presented to all recipients, including an audience favorite, runner-ups, and eight semifinalists. Grants were also awarded in other areas, including to finalists in leadership and development workshops and group forums.
Truist Foundation teamed with Solve, an effort by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to help identify nonprofits and work with small businesses in underserved communities.