Comcast RISE, a small business support program that’s helped more than 500 Houston-area businesses with grants and no-cost marketing services and technology makeovers, is now expanding eligibility to all women business owners who have been impacted by the pandemic. All women business owners — regardless of race or ethnicity— can now apply through June 17, 2022 at www.ComcastRise.com
Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment, is a multi-year commitment to support small businesses owned by people of color through advancing digital equity — a concept that recognizes everyone’s life circumstances are different and underrepresented small businesses should have access to the digital and marketing tools necessary to be successful in a digital world.
The expansion of eligibility comes after Comcast RISE celebrated its one-year anniversary. Nationally, the program provided more than $60 million in grants, no-cost marketing and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, among others. Of the 6,700 Comcast RISE recipients to date, nearly 70% are businesses owned by women of color, which spurred Comcast to take a deeper look into the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.
According to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.
In 2021, Houston-area woman-owned small businesses like All Real Radio, LAMIK Beauty, and Connect The Dots PR, were awarded either grants and/or digital tools needed to thrive and support their respective communities. The business owners serve as ambassadors to the program.
Over the next 10 years, Comcast is committing $1 billion to programs, like Comcast RISE, and partnerships to reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
In addition to women-owned businesses, all businesses owned by people of color are encouraged to apply for the chance to receive no-cost consulting, media and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business.