BEAMW me up
Collaborative organization launches to support minority and female founders
A group of organizations — consisting of entrepreneurs, investors, chambers of commerce, business support organizations, and small business advocates — have teamed up to bridge the gap in resources for women- and minority-owned businesses.
The Business Ecosystem Alliance for Minorities and Women, or BEAMW, celebrated its launch on August 26 at a virtual event, and announced its anchor partner, Texas Capital Bank.
"At Texas Capital Bank, we truly believe small businesses are the heartbeat of the economy and we are thrilled BEAMW has formed to serve as a collaborative network, committed to serving entrepreneurs across our region today and inspiring those of tomorrow," says Jenny Guzman of Texas Capital Bank, in the news release. "Small business owners are the lifeblood of every community and we're proud to serve alongside BEAMW as partners in providing technical assistance, mentors and support as this collaborative grows and positively impacts the fabric of economy and business ecosystem."
The mission of BEAMW is to address the disparities these businesses face when seeking capital and attempting to scale their businesses. BEAMW was first ideated by the group being the Houston Small Business Community Report, which was created by the City of Houston's Women and Minority-Owned Business Task Force. Led by former Houston City Council Member, Amanda K. Edwards, and co-chaired by entrepreneurs Carolyn Rodz and Courtney Johnson Rose, the task force provided Mayor Sylvester Turner with recommendations about increasing increase access to capital for minority- and women-owned business enterprises and assisting these business owners in scaling up their businesses.
Minority-owned businesses have been denied loans at three times the rate of non-minority-owned firms, according to the report, and only 24 percent of small businesses are owned by Houston women.
"It is not enough to state that Houston is the most diverse city in the country; we must be the city where the challenges that diverse communities face are solved," Former City Council Member Amanda Edwards says in the release.
BEAMW and Texas Capital Bank's Community Impact together will create programming for the rest of the year, specifically focused on:
- One on One Financial Preparedness Small Business Counseling
- Business Networking Forums
- Texas Capital Bank Bankers' Roundtables
More information about BEAMW — including how to get involved — may be found at beamw.org.