For minority business owners, one of the most promising developments of 2018 was the launch of The 800 Initiative. Announced last spring by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, it combines public and private sector resources to assist the roughly 800 black-owned businesses in the city.
The program offers technical assistance, coaching and loans. Programming assistance is being provided by Start Co., Epicenter Memphis and Christian Brothers University. FedEx has committed $1 million to the project.
The goal? To grow the revenue of minority firms by $50 million in five years, while also working to increase their social and political capital.