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Orlando initiative aims to identify systemic challenges in funding Black-led organizations

Community leaders working with Enterprising Black Orlando outline a plan to assess the economic environment for Black-led organizations. Photo: Brendan Byrne / WMFE

A new initiative in Orlando seeks to overcome long-standing issues and challenges facing Black business owners and non-profits.

Enterprising Back Orlando, or EBO, wants to help Black-led organizations get access to funding and other resources that have historically been difficult due to racially unjust policies and practices.

Over the next 12 months, the initiative will survey Black non-profit and business leaders to identify systemic issues in funding these organizations, and provide local leaders with an understanding of the racial wealth divide in Orlando.

“I think so many times we’re trying to address issues without getting to the root cause. And this process is going to make us as a community slow down, and really look at the root causes,” said Candice Simmons, an advisory board member of EBO’s advisory and also with Wells Fargo, a business partner in the initiative.

The non-profit organization Prosperity Now will lead that economic assessment and provide EBO with an evaluation of the current environment and wealth gap in Orlando.

“Prosperity Now will provide a Black profile that talks about the gap — the challenges, the barriers, the policies that are causing it — and then build and recommend solutions,” said Simmons.

She says hundreds of Black-led organizations in Orlando stand to gain from this assessment — and the policy changes that may come with it.

EBO is a partnership of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, Central Florida Urban League, and the Black Business Investment Fund.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »