Black Enterprise: Congresswoman Nikema Williams’ proposed Minority Entrepreneurship Grant bill gains support

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

The Democratic Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams is working tirelessly to close the racial wealth gap. She has proposed the Minority Entrepreneurship Grant Program Act of 2023 to establish a new federal grant program for institutions and historically Black colleges and universities.

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

Williams’ goal for schools included in the proposed Minority Students Institutions program is to allow them to apply for resource grants of 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 addition to three Democrat co-sponsors. They include Democratic Reps. Alma Adams of North Carolina, Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania, Norma Torres of California, and Republican Brian Fitzpatrick.. of Pennsylvania. However, Williams expects strong opposition from the other side of the floor except for Republican co-sponsor Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

Fitzpatrick agreed with Williams’ sentiment in a statement. 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.