As National Black History Month ends, let’s take a moment to delve into the Path To 1555 initiative.
Launched in 2020, Path To 1555 is a collaborative effort aimed at bolstering black business ownership
and entrepreneurship to foster the economic prosperity of black communities. Their mission is
underscored by compelling statistics showcased on their website, indicating that a modest 15% increase
in black-owned businesses hiring just one employee could inject a staggering $55 billion into the
American economy.

The initiative engages with five key sectors: corporations, high net worth individuals, financial
institutions, political leaders, and philanthropic investors. Together, they aspire to achieve a 15% growth
in black businesses nationwide, thereby generating over 600,000 new jobs.

Studies, including research conducted by the Brookings Institute, utilizing data from the Census Bureau’s
Annual Business Survey (ABS), corroborate the challenges highlighted by Path To 1555. Systemic barriers
persist across various sectors, impeding the growth of black businesses and obstructing the
accumulation of generational wealth. In response, Path To 1555 and its partners are dedicated to
confronting these challenges head-on, striving to deliver solutions and opportunities that foster the
prosperity of black-owned enterprises.

It’s heartening to witness not only national-level efforts but also local initiatives in regions like Prince
George’s County and the broader State of Maryland. Community Development Financial Institutions
(CDFIs), such as FSC First, play a pivotal role in this landscape. With a specific mission to serve minority
and women-owned businesses, CDFIs like FSC First offer tailored financial solutions and facilitate access
to the capital necessary for business advancement.

For those within networks of minority business owners, spreading awareness about the invaluable
services provided by CDFIs like FSC First can significantly contribute to empowering the small business
community. Through our innovative financial solutions, FSC First is instrumental in driving forward the
goals of economic inclusivity and prosperity for all.


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