IFEL Working To Transform Black, Latinx Businesses In Digital Economy

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) (and CEO Jill Johnson above)

Photo: IFEL

Today, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) (and CEO Jill Johnson above) announced a plan to help bring a new online curriculum to small businesses across 8 cities including New York City; Philadelphia; Boston; Atlanta; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles and San Francisco: Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.

The online curriculum is designed to give small businesses the tools they need to thrive in today’s digital economy, including access to personalized learning plans, coaching from experts and networking opportunities with diverse, industry-specific businesses.

IFEL has deployed a professional volunteer force to assist businesses who enroll in the program. Volunteers have experience in areas such as social media marketing, building website traffic, and financial projections.

More than 100,000 small businesses closed due to the pandemic, with a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx-owned small businesses.

“The majority of small businesses are ill-equipped to sustain through a crisis the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government aid and small dollar grants are not enough,” states IFEL CEO Jill Johnson. “We are excited to partner with Verizon in this effort to coalesce a vast network of resources to help community-based businesses rise, recover and grow.”

IFEL is committed to building a strong volunteer force to help small businesses not only survive, but to thrive. During each event, volunteers are paired with business owners and are moved into individual breakout rooms to work on a specific deliverable for the duration of a 2-hour online Small Business Hackathon event. Each event has a single theme, and material is provided to volunteers ahead of time, so no advance work is needed. Volunteers from across the country are invited to participate.

For more information and to register as a volunteer, visit https://www.smallbusinessesneedus.org/. To register and access the small business online curriculum, visit verizon.com/smallbusinessdigitalready.

Learn more at https://www.weareifel.org.

Participants who register for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready and complete two courses or mentoring events will be eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant.

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