The AACCW's mission is based on four focus areas: Access to Capital, Advocacy, Business Development, and Strategic Partnerships.
Access to Capital
Specifics: Revolving Loan Fund, Kiva Fund
Securing financing remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion and growth of Black-owned businesses. The AACCW operates a Revolving Loan Fund providing up to $25,000 to clients for operating capital, machinery and equipment, building renovation, and bonding assistance. AACCW partners with traditional banks and micro-lenders to review loan applications and to partner on loans exceeding $25,000.
Another financing service available to business owners and entrepreneurs through AACCW is Kiva Loan of which the chamber is a trustee. Kiva loans are 0% interest loans supported by a community passionate about helping entrepreneurs in the United States. With over a million lenders, corporate sponsors, and local governments, Kiva will help you find the resources you need to grow your business.
Specifics: Monthly Workshops, Loan Readiness Preparation, Industry Clusters Connections, Business Fellows’ Program
Technical assistance, advice to members, and facilitating the sharing of best practices and industry data among our members is at the core of AACCW’s commitment to business development and sustainability. Helping businesses achieve stellar performance and growth through entrepreneur and business management training and coaching is key.
Business development is demonstrated through monthly professional workshops that guide best business fundamentals and loan fund preparation. Industry cluster connection meetings are in-person meetings between chamber business owners and entrepreneurs and corporate, government, and education leaders to explore and identify contract opportunities. The new Business Fellows Program provides wraparound business management and growth support to individual businesses.
Specifics: Policy and Practices, Research & Dissemination
The AACCW actively supports economic projects committed to minority business and contract inclusion. We stand firmly for legislation that promotes business growth, particularly policies that address the challenges of Black business owners and entrepreneurs. The chamber maintains a bipartisan approach to advocacy, and hence, collaborates with policy makers and business and community leaders from all political and ethnic affiliations to advocate for policies and practices that best serve the economic vibrancy and overall health of the Black community.
Research and dissemination of information regarding the status of black business, chamber member needs and concerns, and best practices of minority enterprise policies and practices that lead to growth, sustainability, and wealth creation especially in the black community are of interest to the chamber’s contribution to Greater Milwaukee and across the state.
Specifics: Women in Business, Building Milwaukee, Civic & Education Engagement
AACCW connects members to critical information and direct contact with key individuals and initiatives through public forums, member-to-member engagement and sharing, and special events and business networking functions. The chamber believes in connecting and supporting pipeline groups such as high school and postsecondary students, and young professionals and linking them to civic and community organizations and entrepreneurs and corporate leaders connected to AACCW. The chamber believes it plays a role in helping to retain diverse talent, promote educational excellence, feature entrepreneur and business success models, and encourage healthy dialogue across communities.