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Professional Development Fund

Let’s help Black Women-owned small businesses not only survive, but thrive in 2020. 

Applications for the She Can Professional Development Fund for 2020 have closed. 

Our 2021 fund will open on March 8, 2021. 

At its inception, “The McBride Sisters SHE CAN Professional Development Fund” was created in 2019 to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine industry in a concerted effort to help close the gender and race gap. In the first year, the fund awarded scholarships of nearly $40,000 to empower women to strive for change and to create opportunities for themselves and others, where there had not been before.

This year, global changes resulting from COVID-19 have hit all businesses but have been especially destructive to Black-owned small businesses. Hundreds of thousands of Black-owned businesses around the U.S. have already closed permanently amid the pandemic. At the beginning of February, there were more than 1 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. By mid-April, 440,000 or 41% of Black businesses had shuttered. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period.

Many factors have driven this such as lack of access to bank credit, lack of savings or access to family funds to keep the business afloat during this time, and the fact that many Black-owned businesses are micro-enterprises, meaning there is only a single owner-operator or a couple of employees to manage the business. In a recent study conducted by Citigroup, America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years. These inequities resulted in approximately $13 trillion in business revenue prohibited from the U.S. economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn't access bank loans.

“Our response is to invest our money into a group whose success will uplift entire communities.”
-Robin McBride + Andrea McBride John

With Black women starting and maintaining businesses at a faster rate than any other group in America, McBride Sisters Collections is pledging to help entrepreneurs make the necessary business adjustments to sustain and propel growth during the age of COVID-19 through access to capital and business advisement.

To qualify for #SheCanThrive 2020 grant, women will need to own a small business, complete the grant application, and present an idea of what they are needing to do to thrive after the effects of the coronavirus closures and how funds could be put to use, for example in the following ways:

  • Technical Support and Professional Services
  • Digital Marketing and Branding
  • Inventory

#SheCanThrive 2020 Fund and Grant Program will help scale Black-women-owned businesses with a $10,000 investment in the areas of entrepreneurship that Black women find to be most challenging to fund.



Who is eligible to apply? 
Black-women-owned small businesses are eligible to apply for this grant. 

When is the application deadline?
Applications for 2020 have closed and will reopen in 2021 on March 8th, 2021

What is the Program timeline?
• Application Open: October 8, 2020
• Application Deadline: November 9, 2020 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time Zone
• Notification of Selection Results: Mid December 2020
• Funds Disbursed: December 2020

Applications for the She Can Professional Development Fund for 2020 have closed. We will be notifying grantees starting in December 2020. Thank you to everyone who has applied and shared their story. Applications for 2021 will open on March 8th, 2021. 

How can you help?
Please join us in pledging to help Black-women-entrepreneurs propel and sustain growth through access to capital. Donate to the American Educational Assistance Foundation which is administrating the She Can Thrive Grant Program.


 Your donation is to a qualified non-profit organization and is tax deductible.

Our Partners
We are grateful to Facebook and Silicon Valley Bank for embracing and supporting Black-female-owned small businesses so they not only survive, but thrive in 2020. Learn more about what each brings to She Can Thrive 2020.