Comcast recently announced a major expansion of Comcast RISE to all women-owned businesses in Comcast services areas nationwide, including New Mexico. This expansion of the Comcast RISE program furthers its efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive.
In its first year alone, Comcast RISE provided more than $60 million in grants, marketing, and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color – including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian Americans. 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.
Comcast RISE, a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched to help strengthen small businesses hard hit by COVID-19, is accepting applications through June 17. New Mexico small businesses owned by people of color and women are encouraged to apply for the chance to receive consulting, media, and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business, based on their specific needs.
Since the program’s inception, Comcast announced over a dozen New Mexico small businesses as Comcast RISE recipients. This includes Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café, a woman-owned business and Comcast RISE recipient.
“When the pandemic hit, our focus continued to be to take care of our employees, that was the most important thing,” said Yashoda Naidoo, Annapurna’s World Café President and Founder. “This also meant that our focus was not on advertising. Comcast RISE has helped us to maintain marketing efforts during this time, and make sure that our brand is getting in front of consumers.”
Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. 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.
Comcast RISE, which just celebrated its one year anniversary, will continue to be open to racially and ethnically diverse small business owners. The expanded Comcast RISE eligibility to all women-owned businesses is effective now. More information and the applications to apply for marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.