In a noteworthy initiative aimed at promoting small business growth and entrepreneurship, Vice President Harris hosted a gathering in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, bringing together more than 35 young men of color who have made significant strides as entrepreneurs and business owners. The event served as an opportunity for the Vice President to outline the administration’s efforts to support small businesses in the face of ongoing challenges.
Representing a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, space exploration, and fashion, the participants hailed from over 15 states. This gathering forms part of a series of engagements organized by Vice President Harris, both at the White House and across the country, intended to empower young men of color and facilitate discussions on available opportunities and resources within the administration’s agenda.
Highlighting the recent surge in small business activity, Vice President Harris underscored achievements witnessed in 2021 and 2022. During this period, a record-breaking 10.5 million applications for new small businesses were filed, marking the strongest two years on record. Since taking office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have overseen the creation of 3.1 million jobs by small businesses, reflecting their significant contribution to the nation’s economy.
According to the White House and integral part of the administration’s strategy is an ambitious whole-of-government effort to increase the share of federal contracts awarded to minority-owned small businesses by 50% over the next five years. This endeavor represents a substantial $100 billion investment in minority-owned enterprises. By improving access to capital and federal contracting opportunities, the administration aims to address existing disparities and promote greater economic equity for underrepresented communities.
Among the entrepreneurs invited were Jonathan Rabb, the founder of Watch The Yard and member of Kappa Alpha Psi as well as other notable entrepreneurs who are members of Black fraternities including but not limited to:
- Ryan Johnson (Alpha Phi Alpha)
- Ernest Holmes (Alpha Phi Alpha)
- Donald Boone (Alpha Phi Alpha)
- CJ Faison (Alpha Phi Alpha)
- Ellis Carr (Kappa Alpha Psi)
- Antonio Brown Jr. (Omega Psi Phi)
- Kier Gaines (Omega Psi Phi)
The convening of young men of color entrepreneurs is a step for the administration to show its commitment to creating an environment where Black small businesses can hopefully receive more visibility and have their challenges heard, understood, and addressed. Through targeted policies and initiatives, we at Watch The Yard hope that the Biden-Harris administration will further aim to ensure that the American Dream remains within reach for all entrepreneurs, irrespective of their background or circumstances.