UPS Ignite sparks small business success
UPS is launching UPS Ignite and a partnership with the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs to elevate underrepresented founders and the businesses they lead in the U.S.. Through a $1.25 million investment from UPS and The UPS Foundation, these efforts will reach more than 250 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) over the next three years.
Many talented entrepreneurs don’t have access to the knowledge, capital and networks they need to succeed. UPS Ignite provides them with resources and tools to help – and also furthers the company’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Ignite program has four focus areas:
- Capital through the Accion Opportunity Fund
- Self-paced, online training on a UPS-branded platform in collaboration with The Lonely Entrepreneur and its Black Entrepreneur Initiative
- Classes through the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
- Business coaching through The Lonely Entrepreneur and Beyond CEO Coaching
UPS Ignite is the company’s latest program to promote equity and inclusion. Other year-round initiatives include:
- Proudly Unstoppable – UPS launched this campaign in 2021 to celebrate and amplify the voices of the Black, LGBTQ+, Hispanic and AAPI communities by supplying $580K in grants to small business owners, with more to come.
- Be Unstoppable video series – This program features celebrity small business leaders – Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, Jerry Jones – and offers practical advice.
- ComplexCon – In addition to being this pop culture festival’s official shipping partner, UPS teamed up with Kids of Immigrants to highlight 13 minority-owned small businesses at the festival.
- Black Enterprise media buy, including The New Norm with Selena Hill, featuring UPS’s Sophia Shoate and customer Mielle Organics.
- L’ATTITUDE 2021 – UPS sponsored this event showcasing the contributions of U.S. Latinos in business, media politics, science and technology.
UPS also has partnerships with dozens of national organizations and chambers of commerce that support diverse-owned and women-owned businesses.