Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce plans to create 3,000 new black-owned businesses by 2024 | WUWM 89.7 FM

Earlier this year, Governor Tony Evers awarded more than $86 million in grants to support and grow small businesses across the state. The grants prioritize businesses led by diverse emerging entrepreneurs and new business owners.

The Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce was one such organization that received money and with that money, they want to create 3,000 new black-owned businesses by 2024 in Wisconsin.

Ruben Hopkins is the president and CEO of the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce (WBCC). He shares more information about the 3,000 business challenge.

“We will hire people interested in getting into business. We will create a bootcamp where anyone who is and wants to get involved and signs up, we will help them with the start-up. If they are already in business, we will help them We’ll help with technical assistance or capacity building, but it’s really engaging,” says Hopkins.

From Hopkins’ perspective, the problem is money. And he says the WBCC has the resources to support emerging entrepreneurs and potential new business owners.

With the funding, he says, he hopes to put resources into the hands of young people or people just curious about how to start a business.

Hopkins says that when he was trying to start his own business, it helped him understand the importance of creating a market and a network. He now wants to support others who are in his place.

Even if WBCC falls short of the goal, he says the challenge is a call to make the business community active and engaged with communities of color.

“We have black leaders in city government, we have black leaders in county government, black business communities have just been given millions of dollars to create an economic development business. We just have to put the work and just be open and honest and active,” says Hopkins.

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