June 2021

How the Columbus Urban League hopes to boost the earning power and wealth of Black women

Courtesy of Columbus Business First
By Haleigh Colombo
June 4, 2021

The Columbus Urban League has launched a new program to help 30 Black women in Central Ohio boost their earning power, increase their wealth or open their own businesses.

The program is called “Incubate Her” and is being funded with $50,000 from Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women Initiative.

According to Goldman Sachs, the median single Black woman has 92% less net wealth than the median single white man. And Black households on average have 85% less net wealth than white households. In addition, the earnings gap between white and Black women is only growing, from 10% to 15% between 2000 and 2019.

The program’s first cohort of women will start this summer, and the Urban League will seek additional funding to grow the number of women who can enroll.

The women in the program will go through training on financial literacy, wealth-building, budgeting and raising their credit scores. They will also work with entrepreneurship experts to help them plan businesses, secure financing, access capital and start competing for contracts. Those who aren’t interested in starting their own businesses will be connected to high-wage career opportunities.

“Incubate Her reflects and responds to the realities and restraints facing Black women in Columbus,” said Columbus Urban League President and CEO Stephanie Hightower. “We are twice as likely to be poor, struggle under a wage gap that is as much as a third less than white males in the same jobs, and too often, pay more in hourly childcare costs than we earn.”

“We intend to give our women participants the knowledge, resources, support and personal coaching that all of us need in order to achieve our personal and financial dreams,” Hightower said. “We will cultivate the kind of resiliency that erases the constraints of generational poverty and systemic racism.”

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