Fifth Third Bank and Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF), one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations providing small business owners with access to capital, networks, and coaching, will host a fireside chat on Oct. 27 on the state of small business – specifically for entrepreneurs of color – and actions that can be taken to help ensure a successful recovery after the pandemic.
Fifth Third’s head of business banking and chief enterprise corporate responsibility officer, Kala Gibson, and AOF’s chief executive officer, Luz Urrutia, will highlight resources available. AOF client Reign Free of Red Door Catering will moderate the conversation.
“Collaborating with organizations like Accion Opportunity Fund has helped us provide entrepreneurs of color vital resources as they have navigated running a small business during a pandemic,” said Gibson. “Small businesses are crucial to local economies and communities, and championing entrepreneurship is core to Fifth Third Bank. Over the past year, we have discovered solutions for these entrepreneurs not only to stay afloat, but to succeed, in a turbulent business environment.”
Fifth Third and AOF have worked together for several years to support small business owners by expanding access to capital along with coaching and educational resources to help them thrive, including a series of educational webinars on targeted business topics that reached thousands of small business owners.
“Entrepreneurs of color have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” said Urrutia. “However, many businesses have stepped up – including Fifth Third Bank – and developed programs and partnerships to help these most vulnerable businesses. While we still have a way to go, we can reflect on the progress made and what we have learned about supporting small businesses through the pandemic, especially how businesses are innovating and reinventing themselves to get through the crisis.”
Fifth Third’s partnership with AOF was initiated as part of the Bank’s five-year Community Commitment that began in 2016 and delivered $41.6 billion in lending and investments. This included small business lending, product innovation and enhanced underwriting and fulfillment.
The meeting will be held through Zoom at noon, Oct. 27. Those interested in attending can register here: https://accion.zoom.us/webinar/register/6116316306752/WN_tSS_t4XnSSqQ3y8t0Ouzwg.