Famous Amos Announces Second Cycle of $150,000 Grants and Mentorship to Black Businesses


Famous Amos Announces Second Cycle of $150,000 Grants and Mentorship to Black Businesses Through the ‘Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative’

The grant and mentorship program aims to support early-stage Black businesses

CHICAGO (May 19, 2022) – Today, Famous Amos, in partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), announces the second cycle of the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative, a grant and mentorship program that aims to provide the necessary tools and resources to help Black business owners thrive.

The program features a pitch contest, in which prospective recipients submit an application that includes a videotaped elevator pitch and a written statement sharing the nature of their business, why it has the makings of a successful enterprise, and how they plan on using the funds to build a lasting operation. In sum, three business owners will receive $50,000 in unrestricted capital from Famous Amos, totaling $150,000 in cash awards. In addition, a full suite of mentoring and coaching resources will be provided by the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

"We established the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative to support Black businesses and to honor the legacy of the brand's founder, Mr. Wally Amos," said Rachna Patel, Senior Director of Marketing for Famous Amos. "In addition to the grants Famous Amos awards, we feel it is equally important to offer resources such as mentorship, coaching, and networking, which are provided by our community partner, the National Black Chamber of Commerce."

The challenges Black businesses face on the road to sustainability are steep and plenty. According to a report from the Brookings Institution, Black people comprise approximately 14% of the U.S. population, but only 2.3% of owners of employer firms. Findings from the Federal Reserve System’s 2021 Small Business Credit Survey showed that most small business owners reported experiencing financial hardship during the early stages of the pandemic, but the highest rate was reported by Black business owners: 92%. The same survey also pointed to challenges for Black businesses getting capital they needed to survive the pandemic, with only 43% of Black firms receiving the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans they applied for, compared to a 79% of White-owned firms.

Lower personal wealth among Black entrepreneurs also inhibits business creation, the report noted, underscoring the need for programs like the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative to provide business capital that Black businesses need to invigorate their operations.

In addition, according to a recent story by CNBC, nearly 8 out of 10 Black-owned companies usually do not survive the first 18 months. Famous Amos strongly believes that pairing these entrepreneurs early on with financial resources and mentorship is a key ingredient to contribute to a more positive direction.

“We are energized by our mission to economically empower Black businesses and communities," said Charles H. DeBow, III, CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce. "We look forward to the continued partnership with Famous Amos, and to providing coaching and mentorship that will help propel grant recipients to further success in their endeavors.”

Ten national finalists will be selected, judged, and narrowed down to three recipients by some of the nation's foremost Black business leaders including Mandy Bowman, Founder of Official Black Wall Street; Steve Canal, CEO of Flourysh; Roby Mercharles, VP of Partnerships at The American Dream Fund & Marketplace; and Nancey Harris and Tracy Green, Co-Founders of Vontelle, LLC, one of three businesses selected from the first cycle of the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative.

To qualify, businesses must be Black-owned and have been in operation for five years or less. For official rules and eligibility requirements, and to apply now, please visit https://famousamosingredientsforsuccess.info. All entries must be submitted by June 26, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

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About Famous Amos

The Famous Amos story began in 1975 at a bakery on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Inspired by a family recipe, the founder Wally Amos perfected the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. He used only the best ingredients to make his bite-size cookies. This delicious homemade signature helped them gain fame just by word of mouth. From there, the Famous Amos story becomes a Hollywood success story. Iconic musicians and other Hollywood celebrities began singing the praises of delicious tiny cookies from the small bakery on Sunset.

This was just the beginning of the Famous Amos story. It was always a core belief of Wally Amos that you make a tastier cookie if you use high-quality ingredients. While this has never changed, what customers looked for in a cookie did. They want simpler ingredients and internationally inspired recipes. So, we set out to find the ingredients from the most renowned places in the world and bring the bite-size cookies back to once again being Famous. That brings us to today, and we hope you enjoy our new Famous Amos Wonders From The World™.

About the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)​:

The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. 140 affiliated chapters are locally based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters based in North, Central, andSouth America, the Caribbean, Africa and businesses as well as individuals who may have chosen to be direct members with the national office. In essence, the NBCC is on the leading edge of educating and training Black communities on the need to participate vigorously in this great capitalistic society known as America.

The NBCC reaches well over 100,000 Black-owned businesses. As of the latest census datarelease, there were 3.12 million Black-owned businesses in the United States, generating $206 billion in annual revenue and supporting 3.56 million U.S. jobs. The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States.