WELCOME TO OUR SPACE
Cultivate strategies, Create wealth, and Change Lives
A nation can rise no higher than it's woman- The overall well-being of the Black community greatly depends on the well-being of Black women and girls.
WHO WE ARE
The Black Women's Wealth Alliance is Minnesota's first Black Women Led and Owned Specific Public Benefit Corporation, it is important for us to model wealth building by being a social enterprise. We are a collaboration of Black women working collectively to advance the economic status of the Black community.
OUR STAFF, COUNCIL AND PARTNERS
Our staff & council is 100% Black- We partner across communities, cultures, institutions, groups and organizations
WHY WE FOCUS ON WOMEN
Improving women’s ability to build wealth is not only good for women, but is essential for the economic well-being of children, families and our community. The wealth gap impacting Black women has been largely overlooked in discussions of women’s economic security, yet wealth (the values of assets minus debts) is the most comprehensive indicator of financial health. Insuring the well-being of Black women is to help ensure the well-being of Black children, Black families and Black communities.
OUR FOUNDING HISTORY AND TIMELINE
The Black Women’s Wealth Alliance (BWWA) Formerly Known as the Black Women's Business Alliance was founded in July 2014 out of extensive research on the economic status of Black women that led to weekly conversations with 20 women who identified as Black and African American over six months . Our discussions focused on our personal economic realities of income, family size, marital status, assets, education and financial confidence. Some of our findings:
- 1 of 20 women felt confident in her financial skills
- 1 of 20 women owned a home
- 3 of 20 women obtained a bachelors degree
- 3 of 20 women earned more than $35,000
- 16 of 20 women had 3 or more children
- 2 of 20 women were married
- 17 of 20 women were existing or aspiring entrepreneurs
- 19 of 20 women had less than $500 in savings
In 2015, we received a research grant from CURA to conducted Minnesota’s first report on the economic status of Black women that we revealed in March 2016. Our report lead by Dr. Brittany Lewis, focused on income, family size, business starts and business lending.
Our findings showed us that
o nearly 80% of Black women in the Minnesota workforce are the primary breadwinners of their households yet nearly 30% of those jobs are concentrated in low wage occupations.
o Black women are leading new business starts in Minnesota and across the nation yet receive the least business loans to retain and grow their businesses.
o Black women in Minnesota experience a nearly 11% higher poverty rate than Black women across the nation.
We concluded that Black women in general and more specifically in Minnesota need clear pathways to wealth building to advance our economic security. Black women are striving to build new income streams through entrepreneurship to relieve themselves and their families from the hardship of an apparent yet invisible economic tsunami that is having a devastating effect on the entire Black community.
This revelation compelled us to broaden our focus from entrepreneurship to wealth building, to study wealth and wealth inequities impacting Black communities and to engage the broader discussions around women’s economic security. We engaged and expanded the gender equity narrative and discussions by addressing racial inequities among women that restricted the visibility of Black women’s specific economic realities. In addition, our findings compelled us to return to the drawing board to rethink our framework, strategies, impact and outcomes, we shortly after changed our name to the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance.
o In 2015, BWWA partnered with the MN Legislative office on the status of women’s economic security and the MN human rights department to discuss black women’s economic security. 30 Black women participated and discussed workplace barriers to paid sick leave, lack of job promotions, need for increased pay, childcare, barriers to business loans, lack of affordable spaces for wealth & business education and racial tensions
o In 2015, BWWA partnered with the MN Dept of employment and economic development to hold an information and listening session around the MN Angel Tax Credit program. 20 Black women participated and expressed strong interest in using the Angel tax credit program as an investment tool for their entrepreneurial efforts.
o In 2015, BWWA engaged 50 Black women to participate in our MN Economic Status of Black Women report
o In 2015, BWWA engaged 20 Black women leaders and other stakeholders to learn more about their work, struggles, strategies and how they advance wealth opportunities for Black women. Some of our stakeholders include, North Point Health and Wellness, Prosper and Prepare, Women’s Venture, Northside Economic Opportunity Network, African Development Center, Spokesman Recorder, UROC, Mpls Urban League, Summit Academy OIC, Pillsbury United Communities, Juxtaposition Arts, MN Women’s Consortium, St. Kate’s University, Main Staks wealth company, Thrivent Financial, Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis, MN DEED and others.
o In 2015, 3 BWWA members participated in a 6 month wealth education training with Main Staks to broaden our wealth knowledge
o In 2015-16 BWWA worked with the MN Women’s Economic Security Act coalition to plan and host the 2015-16 WESA conference, we organized the women of color panel in 2015 and recruited 5 Black women volunteers and vendors. BWWA organized the WESA Black women’s panel in 2016 where we revealed our summary report and recruited 3 Black women panelists and more than 20 Black women attendees.
o In 2016, BWWA held our first Goal Diggers conference attracting more than 150 Black women and girl attendees. BWWA recruited 10 Black women leaders as panelist and presenters, 10 Black women vendors and 20 Black women seminar volunteers.
o In 2016, BWWA engaged more than 1,500 Black women and others in 4 of our webcast presentations
o In 2016, BWWA engaged 20 Black women to create a Black women & girls legislative package
o In 2016, BWWA engaged 10 Black women to serve as BWWA Ambassadors to further advise our frame
o In 2016-17, BWWA provided life & wealth coaching and career support to 20 Black female youth at Youth-Link in partnership with the City of Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Blueprint program
2017 updates coming soon- The Black Women's Wealth Alliance remains actively engaged in wealth building discussions, initiatives and provides consultation to several groups and agencies around Black Women's economic well-being.
THE BLACK WOMEN'S COOPERATIVE (BWC)
The BWC is a collective group of black women entrepreneurs working to build collective wealth. More coming soon!