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September 16 2015

Operation HOPE Founder Joins Congressional Black Caucus Panel to Educate and Inspire Entrepreneurs

John Hope Bryant joins opening day panel discussion to share his vision of economic empowerment for underserved communities

WASHINGTON, DC — September 16, 2015 – Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant joined moderator Tameka Montgomery, Associate Administrator, SBA Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the 2015 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (CBC ALC) for the stimulating panel discussion, “Innovative Approaches to Educating Entrepreneurs.” The topic, selected for opening day, highlights best practices for teaching entrepreneurs and hope to encourage and inspire the next was of entrepreneurs.

"Small businesses are the engine of our economy, it is important that we do all that we can to help budding entrepreneurs bring their business dreams into fruition,” said Bryant. “We are proud to the work with the SBA to provide the necessary tools and inspiration to make these ideas a reality.”    

Looking to bring this important topic to attendees, the SBA collaborated with the CBC ALC to provide the series: Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship. On Wednesday, September 16, Bryant addressed why entrepreneurship is a key part of the economic agenda for the black community, while sharing Operation HOPE’s mission and his vision for economic equality.

"Making small business ownership and success available to those who are often left out of the entrepreneurial economy is a key to economic empowerment and wealth creation for the African American community,” says Montgomery. “SBA and Operation HOPE both work to increase accessibility to entrepreneurship. This series at the CBCF ALC highlights the great work of Operation HOPE as well as others in this space."

The SBA believes that entrepreneurship will aid skills development and promote economic empowerment. Encouraging individuals to start businesses can play a vital role in increasing future opportunities for all and to influence more people to engage through entrepreneurial pursuit. While small business ownership can be a strategy toward economic empowerment. A supportive ecosystem with robust stakeholders that support their growth including educational institutions, federal, state and local government policies and programs, and non-governmental efforts are necessary for the program to succeed.

Also participating in this powerful dialogue at the Walter Washington Convention Center:

·         Greg Fairchild, Founder, Prison Entrepreneurship Project

·         Kathryn Finney, Founder, Digital Undivided

·         Henry Rock, Founder, City Startup Labs

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has promoted financial dignity through financial literacy and educational tools in underserved communities. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, encouraged economic preparedness and digital empowerment, promoted homeownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2.5 million individuals, families, and small-business owners. It is currently focused on Project 5117, a multi-year initiative that will track and increase business role models for youth, boost credit scores for adults, and empower underserved communities, as a part of its “silver rights” mission to make free enterprise work for everyone.