Mar 16, 2023 - World

Square launches accelerator program for Latino and Black business owners

Illustration of a pair of exclamation points, one inverted, both using Square's logo as the dots.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Payment-processing company Square announced on Thursday that it's launching an accelerator program to help Latino and Black retail business owners get funding and coaching.

Why it matters: Latinos are opening small businesses in the U.S. faster than other groups, but they struggle to access capital, according to prior research.

Details: Through a program called Forward, Square will provide funding, coaching, hardware, and checkings and savings accounts for 25 U.S. businesses that have been operating for less than three years.

  • The selected businesses will also be awarded $20,000 in funding and have access to mentorship by celebrities such as Rosario Dawson, Ayesha Curry, and Dwyane Wade.
  • The businesses must be in clothing and accessories, health and beauty, home goods and furniture, or food and beverage.
  • Applications are open until April 1.

What they're saying: “Latinos open businesses at a rate about 55% higher than their white counterparts, and still have a harder time staying in business and getting the support they need to grow,” says in a press release.

  • “By launching Forward today, we’re eager to help entrepreneurs of color in the retail sector overcome systemic barriers and make their budding businesses grow.”

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