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The Russell Innovation Center Receives $100k From Bank Of America To Bolster Black Businesses 


Portrait of black female shop owner in shop door way. She is smiling, looking at the camera. She has braided hair.

An organization dedicated to supporting the success of Black-owned businesses is receiving a huge boost.

The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) has recenntly announced they’d received a $100,000 grant from Bank of America (BofA) aimed to bolster Big IDEAS, a marquee program it offers for Black business growth.

“In a short window of time of being a Stakeholder at RICE, I have accomplished my 2–3-year goals in just a few months,” said Natasha Simmons, RICE Stakeholder and CEO of Yacht Club Access, LLC in a statement. “The Big IDEAS curriculum and coaching have drastically transformed my business.” 

“Since2020 our partnership with RICE helps empower Atlanta’s dynamic business community,” said Alfred McRae, president, Bank of America Atlanta. “This grant represents our steadfast commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth and supporting the visionary entrepreneurs at RICE who are driving innovation and opportunity in our city.”

RICE is known as the largest business incubation specifically focused on the growth and nurturing of U.S. Black-owned businesses. In the last few years it has received support from PayPal and Walmart among other corporate entities.

“Empowering entrepreneurs and helping strengthen small businesses are key to PayPal’s mission to make our financial system more accessible and inclusive,” said Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal in a statement. “Through invaluable partnerships with organizations like RICE, we can create greater economic opportunity and build thriving communities.” 

“We are immensely grateful for Bank of America’s continuous support,” said Jay Bailey, CEO, RICE in a statement. “This grant will enable us to expand our impact and provide even more entrepreneurs with the resources and guidance they need to turn their visions into reality.” 


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