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Feeling Lucky in Cereal City

At A Glance is a bi-weekly news recap highlighting WKKF grantees, investments, communities and partnerships.

Cereal City is open for business! Battle Creek, Michigan received word this week that a $10 million investment will establish a Battle Creek Small Business Loan Fund. WKKF President and CEO said “We are putting every resource and every level of attention we can to the city of Battle Creek because this is our community!” This fund will provide access to capital, alongside supports for small businesses, with an emphasis on entrepreneurs of color. Whether you are an existing small business ready to grow or a new startup, this is big news for the economic growth of W.K. Kellogg’s hometown community!

“Are ya feeling lucky?” Felicia Lucky, president of the Black Belt Community Foundation, is seeing 14 years of localized hard work take a bigger stage in the state of Alabama. Lucky isn’t just her name. It’s how she’s feeling right about now. The Black Belt Community Foundation is the recipient of a $3 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to advance the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort in Selma, Alabama. For the team, it’s not about just changing systems but changing hearts and minds. We’re excited to help this team continue the work!

Networking doesn’t have to just mean grabbing a coffee and exchanging business cards. For two former WKKF Fellows, Eric Foster and “CQ” Huynh, networking has meant starting a new partnership and business to bring racial equity and opportunity to their community. After much research and listening, they found “75 percent of respondents don’t even apply for business loans as they believe racial bias from traditional lenders would leave them at a disadvantage.” Enter Rende Progress Capital, and a business case for racial equity with these two fellows has been made.

Gaining $92 BILLION dollars sounds like something everyone could get on board with, right? The recently released Business Case for Racial Equity report found that Michigan could see an uptick in earnings—to the tune of $92 billon– if racial disparities were eliminated by 2050 in the state. And for the entire country? We’re looking at numbers in the trillions—yes, trillions, with a capital T! “Inequities hold our communities back and a growing number of public and private sector leaders are recognizing that everyone has a stake in creating opportunities for all people,” says La June Montgomery Tabron. We’ve got untapped potential here. It’s time we get to work.



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