MKE Black Inc., a nonprofit leading community engagement in support of Black-owned businesses, was recently awarded a $19,990 grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
The grant is designated to support operations, as the organization grows to build additional programming and capacity to support its more than 700 business members.
“We are honored that the Greater Milwaukee Foundation chose to invest in us,” said Rick Banks, board chair for MKE Black. “This is the largest single gift we have received to date, and we intend on investing in our increased capacity in the months ahead. On behalf of the business owners and entrepreneurs we serve, we are abundantly grateful.”
MKE Black was founded in 2019 to celebrate, promote, empower, and advance Black businesses, events, and culture in greater Milwaukee.
“We activate our mission through the development of social capital and creating a collaborative mindset to win and grow together,” said Ayrton Bryan, the interim executive director of MKE Black. “At this time, we are 100% volunteer driven, dedicated to providing a one stop online resource for locals and tourists. This gift will assist us in securing staff and enhance our ability to partner with others.”
MKE Black has developed a network of individuals and allies taking action for good by:
• Hosting our app (with nearly 10,000 downloads) to guide consumers to support the 700+ Black businesses featured
• Posting news and events on social media to over 25,000 combined followers
• Hosting Black Business Marketplaces, increasing awareness and connection
• Providing educational, social and networking events
• Partnering with organizations like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), Scale Up MKE and more to focus attention and financial support to Black Businesses
• Working with ally businesses to host pop-up Black Business Markets
• Pairing college local students with local businesses owners for marketing internships
• Creating a culture of belonging for Black businesses and professionals, building social capital
For more information on MKE Black, check out the website (https://mkeblack.org/ ) and download the app (iOS & Android).
For more than a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,400 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world and is now among the largest.