In the first round of the KKR Small Business Builders program, 55 entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds across gender, race, ethnicity, business industry, size and geography received $10,000 grants to help overcome challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
KKR joined forces with Hello Alice and the Global Entrepreneurship Network to identify and support diverse and dynamic small business owners in need of assistance. In addition to the $10,000 grants, small businesses will also receive hands-on support from KKR employees and resources from KKR’s partner organizations to help the small businesses to maintain day-to-day operations and jobs while also supporting their future growth.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and across the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of businesses have been forced to close temporarily, and the data show that of those businesses, 60% are closed forever,” said Henry Kravis and George Roberts, co-chief executive officers and cofounders of KKR. “At a time when the challenges facing communities are tremendous, these grants aim to support small business owners and high-impact nonprofits to enable them, and ultimately the greater community, to meet this moment of immense disruption.”
The first round of SBB recipients are located in the U.S. and Asia, with 24 states across the U.S. represented. Over 50% of the recipients are minority-owned businesses, over 61% are owned by women and 22% are owned by veterans or their immediate family members.
"Economies suffer if certain people or nations are underrepresented and face structural barriers and leaders aren't tapping the full potential of their citizens' innovation and ingenuity," said Jonathan Ortmans, founder and president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. "We are proud to work together to support these businesses."
All of the first round recipients' businesses have between 5 and 50 employees and 75% reported less than $1 million in annual revenue.
“All businesses start small and desire to grow. KKR's Small Business Builders initiative is partnering with Hello Alice to provide small business owners grants, online resources and a thriving online community of peers,” said Elizabeth Gore, cofounder and president of Hello Alice. “Small businesses are the heart of our country, and we are proud to work with KKR to ensure their growth during these trying times.”
Small businesses around the world can learn more and apply for SBB grants at kkr.helloalice.com.