The IDEAS program will support 25-30 Black and Latino-owned, small businesses throughout Los Angeles.
On Thursday, September 7, the Los Angeles Urban League and global, financial technology platform, Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), launched the Intuit IDEAS (Invest, Develop, Empower, Accelerate, and Scale) program for Black and Brown small businesses in Los Angeles. David Graham, vice president of the Intuit Expert Network shared what the program is designed to do.
“Giving people a leg up, so really helping with: what is their mission? How do they want to grow?” said Graham. “And how do we empower and surround them with the expertise both from Intuit but, also from community specialists, who are going to help their business.”
He continued, “I think part of it is really helping them by giving them both the tools, access to our systems, coaches that are going to help grow their business.”
The pilot program will utilize Intuit’s AI-driven platform and human experts with the know-how along with the advocacy of the Los Angeles Urban League to support Los Angeles-area Black and Latino small business owners.
“This is just one brick in the wall of moving us toward the revitalization of Black Wall Street,” said Michael Lawson, president and CEO at the Los Angeles Urban League. “This is what we have to do, we have to have that dollar in our community, circulating around and around.”
The IDEAS program will support 25-30 Black and Latino-owned, small businesses throughout Los Angeles. These entrepreneurs will be connected with Intuit experts to support business compliance, back-office bookkeeping, tax prep, and email marketing. At the end of the 12-month program, Intuit will also provide participants with a $10,000 grant to continue to accelerate program participants’ continued business growth. Derrick Plummer, director of Corporate Communications at Intuit, shared how the IDEAS program came about.
“It came from a conversation that I had with Ambassador Michael Lawson and Cynthia Heard and just thinking about the power of what Intuit can do when it has partners that have aligned objectives and missions,” said Plummer.
He continued, “This is really about the power of possibility, what is possible when Black, Latino, Women-owned, LGBTQIA+, small business owners, have the opportunity, resources, tools to grow the business that they have invested blood, sweat and tears into.”
“Congratulations to all the businesses going through the program and I know going through an entrepreneur venture is a challenge,” said Christopher Earl, assistant deputy director for the Small Business Advocate at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
“You get faced with new challenges each day, you got to kind just perservere and stick to the script. I just want to congratulate the business coaches, I know it takes time, effort and really, a passion to do this type of work.”
“Inglewood has exploded in the last 7-to-8 years and so what’s happened is, in all of our development agreements, we’ve made sure that our small businesses are included in this renaissance,” said Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. “This is a concrete program to provide access to capital but with the requirement that you have to get training at the same time and what it takes to start and sustain a business.”
He continued, “We really applaud Intuit, the Urban League because that’s what’s happening right now.”
April Stewart is president and CEO of Skyview Concessions, a joint venture partnership that supports companies in retail concessions within multiple terminals at LAX. She spoke about the program and what it means for entrepreneurs.
“As an entrepreneur, we often get isolated, so it’s nice to know that there is a cohort of people who are like-minded and the support that we have for the people that ‘ll be able to speak into our lives and come along side of us,” said Stewart.
“I think it was really encouraging.”
“This is where it begins, this is where it starts and we all have to take the time to not just invest in our businesses but to be their clients, we have to know that this is not just benefitting the business owner, this is benefitting our community,” said Lawson.
For more information on the Los Angeles Urban League, visit www.laul.org. For more information on Intuit, Inc., visit Intuit.com.