Comcast RISE has provided over $60 million in grants, marketing and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color – including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian Americans since it launched in November 2020. Locally, more than 600 small businesses in Greater Philadelphia, northern Delaware and New Jersey have received awards, including 100 businesses in Philadelphia and Chester, Pa., that each received $10,000 grants.
Of the Comcast RISE recipients named to date nationwide, nearly 70% have been businesses owned by women of color, spurring Comcast to take a deeper look into the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Furthering our efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive, Comcast has expanded eligibility to all women-owned businesses, starting January 16, 2022.
According to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.
“As we continue to rebuild and emerge from the effects of the pandemic, small businesses will continue to be the backbone of our economy – and we must take every opportunity to help them thrive,” said Teresa Ward-Maupin, Senior Vice President, Digital and Customer Experience, Comcast Business. “Looking forward, this expansion will enable Comcast RISE to further empower and strengthen even more small businesses that are the heart of our local communities across the country.”
Silvia Lucci, founder of Café Con Leche in Newtown, Pa., is one of the many helped by Comcast RISE: “It felt exhilarating when I received the call that I had won the Comcast RISE tech makeover. We have owned our business for almost 25 years, and we still use the same equipment we have had since we started. The tech makeover will revolutionize our business and bring us into the 21st century. It is beautiful when a large company like Comcast cares for small businesses.”
Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs like Comcast RISE and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
Looking forward, Comcast RISE will continue to empower and strengthen even more racially and ethnically diverse small businesses that are the heart of our local communities across the country.
More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com. To locate and support local Comcast RISE recipients in your area, check out our Comcast RISE Local Buyer’s Guide.