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An illustrated image of Ziggy looking at a screen with various cards on it
NYC entrepreneurs enjoy wine, snacks, and networking at a festive seasonal event.

NYC Entrepreneurs Sleigh the Season with Hello Alice, Shopify, and TikTok

Hello Alice and our partners at Shopify and TikTok were delighted to host New York City small business owners for two at-capacity, in-person events designed to help owners sleigh the season on Tiktok this holiday and long after.  Hundreds of small business owners from our NYC community gathered in Shopify’s SoHo space on October 19 and November 15 to learn how to attract customers on Tiktok and set up a strategic plan for success, while enjoying light bites, free headshot opportunities, swag, and convivial networking all around. During each event, our friends at TikTok were joined by special guest creators — including TikTok sensation and commercial filmmaker Grace Wells, who has over 2.4M followers and 52M likes — to discuss tips and tricks for optimizing trends, finding and attracting new customers, turning hearts into carts, and building success on the fastest-growing social media platform.   "TikTok is unique in a lot of ways,” Grace told the group. “The discoverability is absolutely insane. You can be an account with zero followers and have a video that gets literally 20 million views.” She encouraged owners to take advantage of the many TikTok tools available to help them. “The reply comment feature for videos, the duet feature, the stitch feature — there’s so many ways that you can enhance the engagement and the connection you have with your audience.” Thank you to every small business owner who attended, asked questions, and made these events two nights to remember.  Next, we’re taking the event over to Los Angeles on December 6 — register here to sleigh the season in LA. Additional Support for Your Small Business Free Shopify and TikTok Guides Set Up Your Shopify Store Expand Your Reach with Shopify Tools Create a Winning Holiday E-Commerce Strategy Get Started on TikTok Create Scroll-Stopping Content on TikTok Boost Your Results with TikTok Tools New Grant Opportunities Visit the Small Business Funding Center to find new grant opportunities and lending options, including: $25K Small Business Growth Fund, accepting applications until January 6, 2023 from high-growth small businesses $5K Keep It Local Fund, accepting applications until December 16, 2022 from entrepreneurs of color Upcoming Hello Alice Events Get ready for success in 2023 with experiences designed to help you reach your goals: Goal Setting Workshop,  December 8, 2023 Small Business Boost Camp Accelerator, January 23-25, 2023 Learn more about getting forward focused on 2023 with Hello Alice. Free Resources From Our Partners Do you live in NYC or LA? The Shopify calendar is jam-packed with pop-ups, workshops, art parties and more.  See what's upcoming in NYC or LA. Download your free TikTok Holiday Playbook for in-depth tools and resources to help build the business of your dreams on TikTok.
Nov 22, 2022 • 2 min read
Black entrepreneurs and representatives of Hello Alice and Mastercard pose at an event for Black-owned small businesses.

Hello Alice and Mastercard Celebrate New York City’s Black-Owned Small Businesses

November 3 was a night to remember with more than 100 small business owners from across New York City joining Hello Alice and Mastercard to network and discuss the challenges and triumphs of Black entrepreneurship — all part of the Mastercard Strive tour, encouraging the support of Black-owned small businesses across the country. Guests gathered at the stylish Flatiron District boutique Noir et Blanc and enjoyed drinks from Brooklyn’s Happy Cork as speakers from Mastercard and the Hello Alice community led a lively discussion on breaking down barriers and opening new pathways to success. Speakers included: Ginger Siegel, North America Small Business Lead, Mastercard International  Deann Donahue, VP of Business Development, Mastercard  Natalie Diamond, VP of Business Development, Hello Alice Ken Ebie, Executive Director and CEO, Black Entrepreneurs NYC (BE NYC) Savonne Anderson, owner, Aya Paper Co. Deborah Koenigsburger, owner, Noir et Blanc Deborah Koenigsburger, the recipient of a COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant and the owner of Noir et Blanc, inspired the room with her message of resilience and community: “Getting the grant was the first time someone gave me something for my business that I didn’t have to give back. My advice is to educate yourself about what’s out there to help you and take advantage of it. There are a lot of people trying to support our community right now. There are a lot of people that believe in us more than we believe in us. Get on the bandwagon!” Download the full recap of the event now! Wondering if a Mastercard Strive event is heading your way? Join a Strive City chapter now and stay up to date on all Mastercard Strive resources available for you! About the Hello Alice x Mastercard Partnership In partnership with Hello Alice, Mastercard has pledged $500 million to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities across America. Together we’re focused on getting small business owners the capital, technical assistance, and tools they need to grow: The $25K Small Business Grant Fund — open until January 6, 2023 The Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard Mastercard Strive City chapters Educational resources to support digital readiness through Digital Doors
Nov 15, 2022 • 2 min read
Illustration of Atlanta's skyline with a large peach among the buildings.

Hello Alice and Mastercard Celebrate Black-Owned Small Businesses in Atlanta

Over 100 Atlanta small business owners joined Hello Alice and Mastercard on September 13, 2022 for a curated evening of networking, conversation, and light bites while shopping Black-owned small businesses at The Village Retail — all part of the Mastercard Strive tour heading to New York and more cities soon!  The evening featured a lineup of intriguing speakers from Mastercard and the Hello Alice community who discussed the triumphs and challenges of Atlanta’s Black-owned small business community, including:  Paul Wilson JR., Innovation & Entrepreneurship Director,  Russell Innovation Center for EntrepreneurPatrice Jackson, owner, Sweet Honey RoseDr. Erica Gamble, owner, The Wig Dr. Boutique and Hair Loss CenterLakeysha “Dr. Key” Hallmon,  founder and CEO, The Village Retail Market The support, creativity, and energy among all attendees was a reminder of the resilience of Hello Alice’s community of 1M+ owners and our commitment to getting you the resources you need to grow.  Why? As Patrice of Sweet Honey Rose summed it up: “It’s the pride you feel when people keep coming back, time and time again, not just to do you favors – but because your product is changing their lives.”  Download the full recap of the event now! Wondering if a Mastercard Strive event is heading your way? Join a Strive City chapter now and stay up to date on all Mastercard Strive resources available for you! About the Hello Alice and Mastercard Partnership In partnership with Hello Alice, Mastercard has pledged $500 million to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities across America. Together we’re focused on getting small business owners the capital, technical assistance, and tools they need to grow: Grant opportunitiesThe Hello Alice Small Business MastercardMastercard Strive City chaptersEducational resources to support digital readiness through Digital Doors
Oct 12, 2022 • < 1 min read
Runner's feet pound the pavement during a marathon

Announcing $5,000 Grants for New York Small Businesses!

The 2022 TCS New York City Marathon takes over the streets of NYC on Sunday, November 6, and our friends at Mastercard— proud supporter of New York Road Runners and the TCS New York City Marathon since 2020 — know just how much running a small business is like going the distance each and every day. This year we’re looking for five (5) local businesses who live and breathe New York City and the entrepreneurial ethos that “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” to apply to receive a grant. Mastercard will be awarding $5,000 Small Business Growth Fund grants to one small business in each of the five (5) boroughs of New York City. But hurry — applications for this round of funding close on October 14, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. Eligible businesses must: ● Be a for-profit business ● Have less than $1M in 2021 gross annual revenue ● Have a commitment to their customers and community ● Have a clear plan for use of funds. The deadline for this round of funding is October 14, 2022, at 6 p.m. ET. Apply now! Additional Support for Your Small Business Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic Mastercard’s free Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic helps you holistically assess your business across six key strategic dimensions, benchmark yourself against industry best practices, and obtain expert recommendations. Learn more. Mastercard Digital Doors® Now more than ever, having a digital presence is critical. Access resources to get you online, protect your business, and ensure you have the right tools to digitally transform. Learn more.
Oct 5, 2022 • < 1 min read
A blue credit card with a rabbit and Hello Alice branding on it.
Small Business Funding

Hello Alice Launches Best-In-Class Small Business Credit Card with Mastercard

Hello Alice, the free platform helping over one million small businesses launch and grow, today proudly announced the launch of the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard as it broadens its suite of inclusive capital products. In partnership with Mastercard, the exclusive payments network, and First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), the card offers small business owners industry-leading accessibility to tools and services including expert business advice, powerful business insights, cashback, and a unique rewards program featuring the ability to earn points by completing business-advancing activities on the Hello Alice platform. "We designed the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard to meet the needs of small business owners where they are, breaking longstanding barriers to mentorship, access to credit, and overall financial health for those who have traditionally been denied access," said Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, co-founders of Hello Alice, "In times of economic boom and bust, access to capital remains the leading challenge for all small business owners, and particularly for New Majority owners, which is why we continue to focus our efforts on expanding the capital continuum beyond our existing grants and loans programs." To maximize capital accessibility for all small business owners, the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard will be offered as a traditional credit card as well as one with additional provisions to help with credit-building. For business owners with a limited or poor credit history, the credit-building credit card provides cardholders full card benefits while they improve their credit. In as few as twelve months, small business owners may, subject to credit approval, seamlessly graduate from a secured to an unsecured card, a unique feature in the market. "Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, yet too often face significant obstacles in securing the resources they deserve, particularly if the owners come from underserved communities," said Linda Kirkpatrick, president for North America at Mastercard. "The launch of the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard is an important step in our mission to build a more inclusive digital economy by providing small businesses with the financial tools and capital they need to thrive, while also advancing our half-billion-dollar commitment to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities." The card is part of Hello Alice's larger Equitable Access to Capital program, a commitment to ensure that all small businesses have access to the capital they need to grow the sustainable businesses that power the national economy. The program provides all of the financial products, tools, and education for owners to scale their businesses, including its own grant fund providing security deposits for high-potential but credit-challenged small business owners. By 2025, Hello Alice estimates that approximately $70 million in grants could fund credit enhancements for approximately 30,000 business owners, unlocking up to $1 billion in credit access. Entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, or people with disabilities continue to face barriers to accessing the capital they need for long-term success. In the latest Small Business Capital Access Study completed by Hello Alice*, seventy-eight percent of small business owners claim access to capital is limiting their ability to manage their day-to-day operations, with Black (84%) and Multi-Racial (82%) owners over-indexing on this claim. Eighty-nine percent of owners claim access to capital is limiting their business growth potential. The added stress of the pandemic and its lasting effects continue to impact small businesses. In a recent Hello Alice survey of Black business owners, 34%** of Black owners cited raising capital as their primary obstacle in 2022. "FNBO has been committed to helping small businesses succeed for 165 years, and we are proud to partner with Hello Alice and Mastercard in this vital initiative to elevate all small businesses," said Jerry J. O'Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Partner Customer Segment at First National Bank of Omaha. Hello Alice serves a diverse community of business owners across the country. Approximately 68% of owners are BIPOC, 63% are female, and 17% are military-affiliated. For small business owners interested in learning more about the card, please visit https://hialice.co/meet-the-card. Please direct all media requests to Renee Rossi, [email protected] *Based on data compiled from 2,978 small business owners across all 50 states. **Based on data compiled from 30,500 Black business owners across all 50 states. ABOUT HELLO ALICE  Founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice is a free platform serving more than one million small business owners across the United States. Committed to equitable access to capital for women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, veterans, and entrepreneurs with disabilities, Hello Alice offers funding, education, tools, and curated opportunities. Working with enterprise business services, ecosystem partners, affiliates, and government agencies, Hello Alice provides its growing community with everything they need to grow their businesses. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. ABOUT MASTERCARD (NYSE: MA)  Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. www.mastercard.com ABOUT FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF OMAHA  First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) is a leader in the credit card partnership arena, with partners in a variety of industries including retail, travel, entertainment, automotive, oil, nonprofits and more. For over 60 years, FNBO has specialized in providing comprehensive credit card programs with personalized service to help its customers achieve their goals. Visit card.fnbo.com for more information.
Aug 16, 2022 • 4 min read
Entrepreneur Sandra Portal-Andreu enjoys chips and dip from her company's sustainable container for small bites.
Small Business Funding

Apply to The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch Today!

If your small business received a $10,000 grant, what would be your next big move?  That’s what we want to know from anyone applying for The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch. What is The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by Sia Scotch? Part of the Year of Small Business movement, this grant program addresses small business owners’ number one need: access to capital. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 grant to accelerate their growth and help make 2022 the year of their small business. "The support from SIA Scotch further solidifies our purpose and mission to bring people to the table. !Muchísimas Gracias!" says Sandra Portal-Andreu (pictured above), artist and co-founder of eco-friendly company Tappas, one of twenty five outstanding recipients funded in 2021.  Who is eligible for this grant funding? Eligible businesses must: Be owned 51%+ by person(s) of colorBe a for-profit business producing less than $5M in annual gross revenueOperate and/or conduct business in at least one of the following states: CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NV, NY, RI and/or TX.NOT be an alcohol beverage retail license holder (such as a bar, restaurant, hotel, or store which sells or serves alcohol) or a business which makes alcohol Eligible applicants must: Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United StatesBe at least 25 years or older as of November 1, 2022 Be the owner or an individual who is legally authorized to bind the Business for purposes of participation in the ProgramNOT have ownership interest and/or be invested in an alcohol beverage retail license holder (such as a business or establishment which owns a license to make, sell or serve alcohol)NOT be an employee of a retail license holder Preference will be given to businesses in the food and beverage industry, such as those who offer products and services across kitchenware, glassware, barware, cocktail mixers, at-home entertaining/party planning, food trucks, cafes, food and beverage blogging, recipe curation, and more.  Additional restrictions apply. See the terms and conditions for details. Do I need to submit a new application if I applied in 2021? If you applied and were not selected as a recipient previously you are welcome to submit a new application. We will evaluate your application based on any new information and judge it against a new pool of applicants! Everyone who applies receives free access to the thousands of curated resources and a community of nearly one million small business owners on Hello Alice. When is the deadline? The application deadline is September 26, at 6 p.m. ET. Learn more and apply today! Still have questions? Read our FAQ. Sponsored by SIA Scotch Whisky. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. SIA Blended Scotch Whisky. 43% Alc/Vol. Imported by Diageo, New York, NY. Do not share with anyone under the age of 21. Restrictions apply.
Aug 2, 2022 • 2 min read
Tembi Gray, founder of GMG Performing Arts Center, smiles for her portrait.
Company Announcements

Now Announcing: The Local Business Support Fund Grant Recipients

We’re proud to announce the first round of recipients of the Local Business Support Fund grant program! What is the Local Business Support Fund? Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, in partnership with LISC,  are awarding $5,000 grants to five small businesses that provide solutions in their local communities. Along with generating less than $1M in annual revenue, these small businesses share a steadfast commitment to their customers and community, and a clear plan to use their grant funds! ”The funds from this grant will help launch our grassroots marketing campaign as we not only raise awareness of The Young Musician's University but also the importance and many benefits of music education," says recipient Tembi Gray of the GMG Performing Arts Center. The recipients listed below will receive a $5,000 grant. Congratulations to all these inspiring entrepreneurs! Local Business Support Fund Grant Recipients Tembi Gray GMG Performing Arts Center | Columbia, SC Kenneth Woods Refresherpoint | Clarksville, IN LaTeasha Gaither-Davis Therapeutic Focus | West Memphis, AR Virginia George Crafts & Drafts NC | Durham, NC Suzanne Daniels Brentwood Social House | Austin, TX Do you need funding for your small business? Visit the Hello Alice Funding Center to view our current grant programs and subscribe to the Hello Alice newsletter to stay up-to-date on future programs and funding opportunities. 
Jun 14, 2022 • < 1 min read