Southern
Communities Initiative

A catalytic consortium to accelerate racial equity in six Southern communities that are home to more than half of all African Americans, in ways that are locally led, measured and sustained.

Our Current Impact

$100B+

Obtained commitments of $100B+ for corporate and philanthropic racial equity programs across the U.S.

6

Targets the six communities home to approximately half of the U.S. Black population.

9,000+

Supporting 9,000 Black-owned business and minority business enterprises (MBEs).

90+

Partnering with over 90 organizations to date.

~5x+

Estimated economic impact after ~10 years.

Southern Communities Initiative acts as a channel partner for corporate and philanthropic organizations to:

Concentrate

on growing Black-owned and other minority business enterprises

Amplify

 high-impact community organizations and initiatives

Coordinate

across the racial equity ecosystem to break down silos

Evaluate

and sustain impact in six Southern U.S. communities

Powered By

The official logo of PayPal.
The official logo of Boston Consulting Group.
The official logo of Vista Equity Partners.
The official logo of W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Southern Communities Initiative Regions

Southern Communities Initiative focuses efforts on six specific Southern regions where the majority of the Black American population resides.

Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

Birmingham, Alabama

Charlotte, North Carolina

Houston, Texas

Memphis, Tennessee

A picture of the highway in downtown Atlanta, Georgia with cars passing by buildings.

Atlanta, Georgia

Racial Equity Priorities

We are focused on four racial equity priorities where this consortium has the ability to drive impact.

Minority Business Enterprise Entrepreneurship and Supplier Diversity

Grow Black-owned and other minority business enterprises.

Access to Capital (CDFI/MDI)

Modernize CDFI/MDI systems and technology, hire and train talent and increase CDFI/MDI capacity to issue more capital.

Education/HBCU and Workforce Development

Reduce student debt and support high-paying employment opportunities via education and skills training for Black Americans.

Digital Access

Increase access and adoption of affordable high-speed internet solutions for low-income and minority households.

Our Partners

Nearly 100 partners support Southern Communities Initiative and local organizations in the six Southern regions. The Initiative is powered by Vista Equity Partners, Boston Consulting Group, PayPal and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation​​.

The official logo of PayPal.

PayPal

The official logo of Boston Consulting Group.

Boston Consulting Group

The official logo of Vista Equity Partners.

Vista Equity Partners

The official logo of W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Join Us and Get Involved!

If you are interested in partnering with Southern Communities Initiative or wish to volunteer your time, we invite you to explore the different ways you can engage.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Racial Equity Priorities

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Entrepreneurship and Supplier Diversity

Creating and Scaling Black-owned Businesses

Southern Communities Initiative focuses on increasing the number and value of MBEs in the region. Southern Communities Initiative specifically aims at raising the economic weight of Black-owned businesses from 2% to 6% of the aggregated value of all businesses in the region.  

Additionally, small businesses in primarily Black communities tend to have lower profit margins and concentrate in industries with less potential for growth.

Black entrepreneurs often face many barriers, including a lack of access to capital, technical assistance, procurement opportunities and more.

Creating and scaling a greater number of Black-owned businesses is crucial to generating employment opportunities for people of color and increasing wealth in the community and economy.

A Black barber adjusts a smock on a young Black boy sitting in a barber chair.

OUR AMBITION

Offer In-Kind FTEs for Supplier Diversity:

Offer 2-5 FTEs to Charlotte Regional Business Alliance (CRBA) over 5 years to convene corporate partners, assess their MBE spend, develop pipeline to increase MBE spend to 5-10%+.

Offer Technical Assistance Expertise:

Partner with CRBA to advise/mentor ~200 MBEs on capital/loan access to help them scale from <$10M to $50M+.

Commit to Supplier Diversity:

Increase MBE spend to 5-10%+.

Estimated Impact (Of All Initiatives): 3X Increase in MBE Value and ~13K New Jobs,