by Jarquita Brown
Over the last five years, Higher Purpose Co ® has reached historical milestones. The Mississippi Black-led economic justice nonprofit has launched historic statewide initiatives to empower and support Black-owned businesses across Mississippi. Within the last two years, some of the highlights include Higher Purpose Co employing a full staff of nine, including an AmeriCorps*VISTA, disbursed $500,000 in grants to support Black entrepreneurs, farmers and artists across the state for COVID-19 relief, and purchased a historic 14,000 square feet commercial space in Downtown Clarksdale. Higher Purpose HQ® will be the first regional community wealth hub in the Mississippi Delta.
The $5 million campaign will help Higher Purpose Co implement the following:
- $1.5 million to sustain the growth of HPC’s existing statewide programs and staff to monthly serve up to 300 Black-owned businesses in Mississippi by December 2023 to create or retain at least 300 FT/PT jobs
- Increase funding to Black-owned businesses across the state of Mississippi by securing a $1million fund to provide loan guarantees and business growth grants to at least 150 businesses by December 2023 through the nationally recognized Higher Purpose Funding Network ®
- Higher Purpose HQ ® will be a $2.5 million 14,000 sqft regional community wealth hub. The hub is scheduled to open in June 2023. It will include business development offices, food hall, creative conference room, workspace lounge, rental offices, multi-purpose theatre, civil rights museum, retail store, and lodging units. The hub is deeply rooted in self-determination, collective work, and economic justice to focus on improving the quality of life in the Mississippi Delta region especially for Black residents.
Tim Lampkin, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Higher Purpose Co (HPC) has become a catalyst of economic justice and growth in our state. Historically, we know Black business owners have not been able to access education, advising, and funding. This is the critical gap we fill every day at HPC. Our statewide membership currently includes over 150 Black-owned businesses and we are beyond grateful to serve them. The $5 million campaign allows everyone to support our work and create change with us here in Mississippi. ”
Higher Purpose Co timeline of key achievements throughout the five years:
- February 2016 hosted Higher Purpose Academy, which became Higher Purpose Co
- Trained 200 Black residents in the area of entrepreneurship and financial literacy
- Hosted first #MoneyPurposeSuccess Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit which has grown statewide and nationally to serve Black women entrepreneurs
- Launched capital access program with Communities Unlimited and Kiva
- Trained 228 Black residents in the area of entrepreneurship and business ownership
- Selected by the Small Business Administration to host statewide InnovateHer Challenge
- Receives 501c3 tax-exempt status from the IRS and applies for multi-year grant funding
- Launched the Delta Creative Business Challenge and graduated six businesses
- #MoneyPurposeSuccess Summit recognized by the Mississippi Development Authority for creating a unique experience for local residents and tourists from across the region
- Graduated eight businesses during the first Higher Business Fellowship Program for Black entrepreneurs in Mississippi
- Launch the first Higher Purpose Funding Network for Black Entrepreneurs in Mississippi supported by Surdna Foundation
- Purchased 14,000 square feet commercial property for Higher Purpose HQ
- Graduated fourteen businesses from the Business Fellowship Program
- Launched first KIVA Hub and statewide Business Membership in Mississippi
- Black Business Relief Fund provided $500,000 to over 150 Black-owned businesses in Mississippi impacted by COVID-19.
Our mission at Higher Purpose Co is to build community wealth with Black residents in Mississippi by supporting the ownership of financial, cultural, and political power. We would like to thank all of our funding partners, donors, and members for supporting the work of Higher Purpose Co.
Learn more about our impact here: https://higherpurposeco.org/impact/
Donate to Higher Purpose Co at https://higherpurposeco.org/#donate.