Q&A With Latasha Randle of Block Advisors

May 13, 2024 | Partner News

How Fund Her Future Grant and Services Could Change the Trajectory of Your Woman-Owned Small Business

Block Advisors by H&R Block recognizes the gap in funding and support for women-owned small businesses and is on a mission to break down these barriers. In June, Block Advisors will award $100,000 in grants and essential small business services to support and empower women-owned ventures. The deadline to apply is May 26, 2024.

Below, Latasha Randle, Strategy & Small Business Program Manager at Block Advisors, provides insights into this opportunity. In her role, Latasha develops, implements and executes small business strategies and initiatives that promote small business growth across tax, bookkeeping and payroll. In addition, she develops training programs to support field associates in driving growth through effective execution.

Q: In addition to your role at Block Advisors, you’re also a small business owner . What’s that like being both an owner and an advisor to other small business owners?

Latasha: Having both experiences means that I know exactly what a client is going through at the tax desk, as well as in the day-to-day when they’re trying to operate their business. When I’m looking to help create new products and services, I know what their needs are because I’ve been in their shoes. I can also help our tax advisors think differently about our clients based on my own experiences. So, it’s very rewarding being both a small business owner and someone who works on behalf of small business owners.

Q: What are some of the highlights and challenges that Block Advisors is seeing when it comes to women-owned small businesses?

Latasha: We’re witnessing an unprecedented boom in the number of small businesses. Last year alone, a record-breaking 5.5 million new business filed for incorporation, making it the strongest year on record, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Women-owned businesses continue to be on the rise, growing at nearly double the rate of those owned by men over the past five years. Businesses owned by women of color are leading this wave of innovation, according to the 2024 Wells Fargo Impact of Women-Owned Businesses Report. Additionally, our own Small Business Resiliency Series study shows that 55% of women started their businesses as side hustles and 63% wanted to generate additional income to support their households.

Despite all of these great statistics, we’re also seeing that women-owned small businesses were more likely to make less money and be declined for a loan more often than men, and the disparities were even greater for small business owners of color. Net-net, women founders face unique barriers to accessing the funding and resources required to truly succeed in their ventures.

Q: What is H&R Block is doing to help women-owned businesses overcome these unique barriers to accessing the funding and resources they need?

Block Advisors by H&R Block is providing $100,000 in grants, as well as a year of small business services, to five women-owned businesses through Fund Her Future, H&R Block’s Business Grant for Women. Out of the $100,000, one first-prize winner will receive a grant of $50,000, and four additional finalists will receive a grant of $12,500 each. Grants of this size can change the trajectory of a small business by helping them create a new product, hire an additional employee, devise new ways to reach customers, buy a food truck, etc. We are proud to support these organizations and have great expectations for the impact these grants can have on their businesses and their communities.

Q: In addition to the grant funding, can you share about the services you’ll be providing?

Latasha: All winners receive up to a year of access to small business services, such as business structure analysis, bookkeeping, payroll and of course, tax preparation and related support—and it’s all provided by the experts at Block Advisors. What’s particularly valuable is that these services free up small business owners to do what they enjoy and do best.

Q: NAWBO members will definitely want to know who’s eligible to apply for the Fund Her Future Grant. Can you share some details?

The grant program is open to small businesses with at least 51%-woman ownership whose owners are 18 years or older and living in the U.S. We’re particularly interested in those that are focused on making a difference in their communities. There are more details in our FAQs and Official Rules available through our site.

Are you interested in applying for Fund Her Future, H&R Block’s Business Grant for Women? Submit your application before the May 26th deadline and be sure to share this opportunity with your fellow women entrepreneurs. Learn more and apply today here.

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