Empowering Black-Owned Consumer and Retail Brands: McKinsey’s Next 1B Program

Empowering Black-Owned Consumer and Retail Brands: McKinsey’s Next 1B Program

In a business landscape where unicorns, startups valued at a billion dollars or more, are real, Black-founded unicorns remain exceedingly rare. The underrepresentation of Black founders in the startup ecosystem is a stark reality, with less than 2 percent of the 400 US unicorn startups having Black founders over the last decade. However, consumer sentiment is shifting towards inclusivity, with a significant portion of consumers expressing a desire to support Black-owned businesses and brands actively.

McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, has recognized this disparity and has taken proactive steps to empower Black-owned businesses through its Next 1B program. This initiative aims to provide essential tools, resources, and mentorship to Black founders in the consumer and retail sector, facilitating their growth and success.

A Path Towards Inclusivity:

McKinsey’s engagement manager, Tabitha Strobel, explained that the motivation for launching the Next 1B program came from a recognition of the need to jump-start growth for Black-owned businesses. The program’s mission is to address the challenges faced by these entrepreneurs, including limited access to capital, networks, insider knowledge, and distribution channels.

The Next 1B program was created as a part of McKinsey’s commitment to racial equity, which includes a $200 million investment in pro bono efforts aimed at economic empowerment.

Program Overview:

Next 1B offers two distinct tracks:

  1. Next 1B: Founders: This 10-week cohort-based program is designed for brands with under $15 million in annual revenue. It provides practical tools, McKinsey’s expertise, insights, and leadership coaching to support founders in their journey to grow their businesses.
  2. Next 1B: Scalers: This track focuses on established Black-owned brands with over $15 million in annual revenue. Participants receive a growth diagnostic, an execution blueprint, and targeted support to unlock the next phase of their business growth.

Building a Supportive Community:

The program places a strong emphasis on fostering a supportive community of Black entrepreneurs in the consumer and retail sector. Participants have the opportunity to network, share experiences, and learn from industry experts. This sense of camaraderie provides invaluable emotional and operational support, creating a unique environment for growth.

Powerful Testimonials:

Entrepreneurs who have participated in the Next 1B program express the positive impact it has had on their businesses and personal growth. Myles Powell, the founder of 8 Myles, a gourmet comfort food brand, highlights the importance of networking within a community that understands the entrepreneurial journey’s challenges.

Danielle Tubbs, the founder of Tubby’s Taste, a brand offering vegan cookies, underscores the significance of sharing experiences and victories as Black entrepreneurs. She describes the program as a powerful platform for collaboration and empowerment.

McKinsey’s Next 1B program is a testament to the firm’s commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the business world. By providing essential tools, expertise, mentorship, and a supportive community, this program empowers Black-owned consumer and retail brands to thrive and reach their full potential. As McKinsey partners with these visionary entrepreneurs, it contributes to their remarkable stories of growth and achievement, ensuring they continue to make a significant impact on the business landscape.

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