Black Girl Ventures and Halcyon Partner with Bank of America on 2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Program

Black Girl Ventures and Halcyon Partner with Bank of America on 2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Program

Bank of America

November 24, 2020

Black Girl Ventures and Halcyon Partner with Bank of America on 2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Program
D.C.-Based Organizations to Incubate 10 Black and Brown Women Founders With Financial, Leadership Support Provided by Bank of America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Halcyon, Black Girl Ventures and Bank of America today announced a partnership to launch an eight-month incubation program for ten Black and Brown women-founded business ventures. The two Washington, D.C.-based nonprofits are accepting applications online through Jan. 7, 2021 and the program is open to entrepreneurs from across the country.

As the COVID-19 pandemic surged across the country, the number of Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, the highest of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S., while Latino-owned businesses saw a 32% decline, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The program by Black Girl Ventures and Halcyon aims to help reverse this trend, creating a powerful and supportive community nationwide for select Black and Brown women entrepreneurs. In addition to receiving a stipend, participants will attend monthly business planning, skill building, and pitch sessions as well as a week-long residency in August 2021 in Washington, D.C., designed to connect them with a national network of investor capital.

Bank of America is committing $170,000 in funding for the program, in addition to leadership support to Halcyon and Black Girl Ventures. This support is part of the bank’s recent $1 billion commitment to combating racial and economic inequality and advancing economic opportunity.

“As Black and Brown communities continue to reel from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, supporting Black and Brown women founders is more important now than ever,” said Shelly Bell, founder and CEO of Black Girl Ventures. “We’re excited to join forces with Halcyon and Bank of America to equip our founders with the support and entrepreneurial training they need to grow their business acumen and position their companies for long-term success.”

“Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs – in recent years Black women-owned businesses have grown 164%, three times faster than all women-owned businesses,” said Kate Goodall, co-founder and CEO of Halcyon. “Halcyon knows from experience that growth in entrepreneurship doesn’t always align with distribution of resources and opportunities, and this program aims to ensure passionate, impactful founders can access everything they need to scale their ventures.”

“Bank of America’s partnership with Halcyon and Black Girl Ventures will provide much-needed support to local Black and Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs who we know are experiencing a disproportionate impact from the health crisis.” said Larry Di Rita, Greater Washington, D.C. market president for Bank of America.

This national program – expected to draw participants from across the country’s startup ecosystems – comes out of Bank of America’s efforts to support its local communities and address economic and racial inequality in the Greater Washington region, where both Halcyon and Black Girl Ventures are based. In 2020, these efforts have included:

  • $1 million grant to Northern Virginia Community College
  • Partnering with Alexandria-based Virginia Ready Initiative to re-train unemployed Virginians for lasting employment
  • 250,000 personal-protective equipment (PPE) masks to four DMV-area non-profits
  • $1 million support of expanding Howard University’s COVID-19 testing capacity in communities east of the Anacostia River

About Halcyon
Halcyon fuels the entrepreneurs and artists whose ideas drive the world forward. Our signature programs are fellowships for early-stage social entrepreneurs and emerging civic-minded artists, designed to equip them with tools and relationships they need to achieve scalable, lasting impact in their fields. More broadly, we seek to mold the art and business worlds to be more inclusive, impact-oriented places. Since its founding as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2017, Halcyon has worked closely with entrepreneurs and artists to understand their ecosystems, identify their needs, and explore new programs and partnerships to meet those needs, with everything from a network of angel investors to By The People, an experimental platform for art events and exhibitions.

About Black Girl Ventures
Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is an ecosystem of Black/Brown women creating access to social and financial capital together with the support of allies. Black Girl Ventures is dedicated to providing founders with access to community, education, and leadership development in order to meet business milestones that lead to achieving economic security through entrepreneurship. Over the past four years, BGV has planted efforts across 13 cities, directly funded 50 women with our access to capital efforts and had over 150 come through our pipeline. Serving idea phase, pre-seed, and seed stage, BGV funds and scales tech-enabled, revenue-generating businesses founded by Black/Brown women.

About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

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Reporters May Contact:
Andy Aldridge, Bank of America