To celebrate National Small Business Week, Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program announced our continued commitment to small business owners-especially women, minorities and veterans-with the news of $8.8 million in new grants dedicated to borrower education initiatives that ease the top barrier to entry for many small businesses: access to capital.
We recognize that while many small business owners have the drive, the ingenuity and the grit to make their businesses successful, they often find access to capital is a barrier to entry. That's one reason Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program in 2015 announced the Small Business Economic Mobility initiative, a five-year investment in small business growth through increased access to capital and borrower education.
Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison, co-owners of Southern Girl Desserts, found themselves needing to expand their high-traffic store after they whipped the competition to become Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" champions. The owners of Southern Girl Desserts received funding from an unfamiliar lender quickly but later realized the interest rate was exorbitant and ended up unable to keep up with the payments. Watch how they overcame a common small business setback.
The initiative's first round of grants totaled $13.6 million to eight national nonprofit organizations that provide access to capital and borrower education to underserved U.S. small businesses, including women, minorities and veterans. This year's grants build on that positive work.
For a list of the non-profits awarded grants, read the full press release here.
For more information on Sam's Club's investment in our communities, read the recently released 2016 Global Responsibility Report .