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About Bridge back better

Building The Bridge Back Better: A Program Designed To Retain Talent In Black and Brown Communities

The Bridge Back Better initiative's (BBBi's) mission is to promote Black and Brown ownership through cross-pollination and opportunities for growth between successful Black and brown entrepreneurs that were trained at predominantly white institutions (PWIs) with Black and Brown Entrepreneurs from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Community Colleges. 

The BBBi will be a bridge back for the talented Black and Brown Entrepreneurs at Predominantly White Institutions who have experienced microaggressions, racism, and other forms of racial injustices during their college experience.

The Bridge Back Better Initiative was founded by Donnell Layne, a high-tech learning community builder currently living in Laguna Beach, CA. Inspired by his experience growing up in a low-income household in Harlem, NY, and later developing his career at a multi-billion-dollar company, Mr. Layne understood how crucial it was to bridge the gap between those who are well versed in business principles and those who are not yet equipped with the tools they need to grow their businesses.

What do you need to build a business? Character, grit and gumption? Yes, but also a robust support system. And for many entrepreneurs, that's the hard part.

The BBBi is meant to be that support system — a one-stop shop for Black entrepreneurs who want to start and grow their businesses. The program provides the necessary funding for Black entrepreneurs to get their businesses started, as well as mentorship, guidance, marketing and product development support.

The initiative will be open to more than 100 graduates from business schools that are predominately white, and provides the services needed for successful business launch and growth. It’s a vision that’s been in the making for years, but COVID-19 made it even more urgent. An initiative that is seeking to address the barriers to entry for promising Black and Brown entrepreneurs on the path to success. The initiative hopes to build on the current momentum of the business community taking action against systemic racism and will serve as a bridge for those who have been denied access.

The program will be open to all HBCU and PWIs graduates. The program offers both paid services and products, including access to capital through a fund of funds, a Black owned business directory, talent incubator, and other resources.

We believe that the best way to bridge the gap between education, opportunity, access and wealth is by working with our brothers and sisters who are already achieving success.

We know that these people have skills, talents, passion, drive, intelligence, moxie, grace under fire and a great attitude. But they don't know how to make their first big move. They don't know what it takes to work for themselves. They don't know how to unplug from the matrix. They don't know where to start.

No more! This is your opportunity to learn from our world-class alumni of Black & Brown Entrepreneurs - The best of the best in their industries.

Developed to address the glaring disparities in funding (access to capital) for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. The program consists of a 4-part cohort series that will focus on business building, access to capital, financial literacy, and mentorship. It is essential to understand that this work must be holistic in nature, supporting the entrepreneur as well as their families.

This initiative is designed as a 3-year commitment to each cohort. The inaugural cohort will consist of 10 entrepreneurs, we plan to expand to 20 entrepreneurs in year 2, and 30 entrepreneurs in year 3. We will be working in partnership with the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA), RISE (Racial Inclusion & Social Equity), National Urban League, National Business League and the UNCF Entrepreneurial Programs at Howard University and North Carolina A&T University to identify local chapter leaders who are interested in engaging with this program.

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