By OBSERVER Newsroom

Famous Amos, in partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, has announced a second cycle of the Famous Amos Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative (, a grant and mentorship program that aims to provide the necessary tools and resources to help Black business owners thrive.

The program features a pitch contest, in which prospective recipients submit an application that includes a videotaped elevator pitch and a written statement sharing the nature of their business, why it has the makings of a successful enterprise, and how they plan on using the funds to build a lasting operation. Three business owners will receive $50,000 in unrestricted capital from Famous Amos, totaling $150,000 in cash awards. A full suite of mentoring and coaching resources also will be provided by the Black Chamber.

To qualify, businesses must be Black-owned and have been in operation for five years or less.

“In addition to the grants Famous Amos awards, we feel it is equally important to offer resources such as mentorship, coaching, and networking, which are provided by our community partner, the National Black Chamber of Commerce,” said Rachna Patel, Famous Amos’ senior director of marketing.

The challenges Black businesses face on the road to sustainability are steep and plentiful. According to a report from the Brookings Institution, Black people are approximately 14% of the U.S. population, but only 2.3% of owners of employer firms. Findings from the Federal Reserve System’s 2021 Small Business Credit Survey showed that most small business owners reported experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic’s early stages, but the highest rate was reported by Black business owners: 92%. The same survey also pointed to challenges for Black businesses getting capital they needed to survive the pandemic, with only 43% of Black firms receiving the Paycheck Protection Program loans they applied for, compared to 79% of White-owned firms.

For official rules and eligibility requirements, and to apply, please visit All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 26.