Betting Big on Small Black Businesses, a new full-service, fail-fast incubator for women and BIPOC entrepreneurs led by Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce (FMBCC) kicks off its pilot program this month. The Fresno DRIVE Economic Development initiative is made possible by a $750,000 three-year investment from the James Irvine Foundation.

“Research shows access to capital and contracts are two of the most significant barriers faced by small businesses owned by women and BIPOC across industries, said Dr. Cassandra Little, FMBCC Interim CEO. “’Betting Big’ will overcome both individual and collective barriers to diverse small business ownership success by applying best practices and culturally competent programming.”

The 12-week classroom-based program includes one-on-one mentorship and support, as well as hands-on business development activities and professional consultation. The program will enhance the entrepreneurial mindset of participants. Course topics will range from how to build a brand and identify customers, to marketing strategies and how to develop a solid financial foundation.

Serving start-ups and mid-stage companies founded by women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs, Betting Big creates a supportive ecosystem that is crucial for the development of community wealth of business owners and the people they employ.

The first cohort begins Tuesday, October 12, at 5:30 PM at the Kearney Mansion Museum (7160 W Kearney Blvd, Fresno, CA 93706). This cohort is full and we are accepting applications for the next round. FMBCC encourages all interested Black female founders or aspiring entrepreneurs to visit our Betting Big page to apply.