Rep. Nikema Williams’ Pushes Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Bill

congresswoman Nikema Williams

Nikema Williams’ bill has already gained four co-sponsors.

The Democratic Georgian Congresswoman Nikema Williams is working tirelessly to close the racial wealth gap. She has proposed the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act of 2023 this year that will help to establish a new federal grant program for institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. 

The grant program will supply money to entrepreneurship initiatives to educational institutions who mostly serve minority students. 

Williams’ goal for these schools included in the proposed Minority Students Institutions program is to allow them to apply for resource grants up to $250,000 for student entrepreneurs on their campuses. 

Williams explained, “Too often, Black and Brown entrepreneurs face enormous barriers to accessing the capital needed to launch and sustain businesses. The Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program will help to break down those barriers and ensure that the next generation of minority business owners have a fair shot at the promise of America.”

She added, “Investing in minority-owned businesses is also one path on the journey to close the racial wealth gap. I am proud to advance legislation to continue creating equity in entrepreneurship opportunities for everyone–no matter your ZIP code, no matter your bank account.”

The support for Williams’ new bill is looking promising and it has, according to Rolling Out, gained even Republican support in the form of four separate co-sponsors. They include Democratic representatives Alma Adams of North Carolina, Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania and Norma Torres of California, and Republican Brian Fitzpatrick. However, Williams is expecting opposition from the other side of the floor except for Republicans cosponsor Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) 

Fitzpatrick agreed with Williams’ sentiment in a statement of his own. He pointed out, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and allow communities to flourish,” he said. “The bipartisan Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act will empower minority innovators and entrepreneurs to start their own small businesses and I’m proud to join my colleagues on this legislation.”

Williams previously proposed a bill last year similar to the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act of 2023, but it didn’t gain very much steam amongst even her fellow Democrats.

RELATED CONTENT: This BIPOC Farmer’s Collective Sows More Seeds With California State Grant

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