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Denver Foundation announces Amazon grants for ALG, other organizations

Here are portions of a press release The Denver Foundation issued today. African Leadership Group was fortunate enough to be one of the recipients of an Amazon grant.

December 20, 2021 – Denver, CO – Nine nonprofits that advance opportunities for small businesses in Metro Denver and across Colorado have been awarded a total of $500,000 in grants from the Amazon Denver Community Fund, a new donor-advised fund housed at The Denver Foundation.

All nine organizations focus their work on helping women entrepreneurs and BIPOC business owners succeed and grow. The resources will allow the organizations to access capital and microlending grants, develop and adopt technology support and training opportunities, and create mentoring and leadership programs. The funds come as many small businesses throughout the state continue struggling to recover from the pandemic.

Energize Colorado will receive an anchor investment from the Amazon Denver Community Fund of $150,000 to expand a digital readiness program. The nonprofit organization and its associated Gap Fund, which was created in 2020 by state legislation and a signed Executive Order by Governor Jared Polis, aim to advance resilience and promote equity in Colorado’s small business ecosystem.

Eight additional organizations will receive between $25,000 and $50,000 from the Amazon Denver Community Fund to advance economic opportunity for women and BIPOC-owned businesses in Denver, Adams County, Aurora, and Commerce City through a range of culturally responsive business development services including education, leadership development, and incubation.

{ALG is one of those organizations. With this generous support from Amazon and The Denver Foundation, we will continue our work with business owners to ensure they have a stable foundation, including being eligible to receive federal, state, and local pandemic relief and other government funding.]

“Fostering an environment of diverse entrepreneurship in Colorado is a natural fit for Amazon,” said Brittany Morris Saunders, Amazon’s Senior Manager of External Affairs in Denver. “The organizations we are investing in today are creating new pathways to economic opportunity and allowing Coloradans of all backgrounds to pursue dreams of business ownership. We’re excited to join hands with The Denver Foundation to help these groups expand their reach, empower more women and entrepreneurs of color to launch businesses, assist existing businesses as they recover, and create local jobs along the way.”

The Amazon Denver Community Fund was established at The Denver Foundation in late 2020 to support hyperlocal community non-profit organizations and neighborhoods, especially those that have been impacted by COVID-19. Grantmaking will be led each year by Amazon and managed by The Denver Foundation.

“Amazon and The Denver Foundation share a commitment to advancing economic opportunity,” said Javier Alberto Soto, President and CEO of The Denver Foundation, which distributed more than $1 million to support economic development through its Community Grants Program in 2021. “Amazon is investing in our community by supporting a diverse range of entrepreneurs, including BIPOC business owners, refugees, and immigrants. It’s exciting that The Denver Foundation is able to partner with such a hugely influential company to have a meaningful impact on small business.”

In the U.S., 500,000 small and medium-sized businesses act as third-party selling partners on Amazon, the company’s online store. More than 10,000 of those businesses are based in Colorado; the state has the ninth most independent sellers per capita in the nation. Amazon now has over 16,500 employees across Colorado, with over 1,000 tech and corporate employees at the Denver Tech Hub, which includes Denver and Boulder. Amazon invested more than $5.5 billion in Colorado between 2010 and 2020, including infrastructure and compensation to employees. Those investments added $5 billion into Colorado’s GDP over the same period. Earlier this year, Amazon was the Title and HQ Sponsor of Denver Startup Week, a weeklong event celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship in Denver.

Amazon joins dozens of businesses and corporations that partner with The Denver Foundation to meet their philanthropic and community impact goals. The Foundation provides a range of products, including business donor-advised funds, and customized services to support grantmaking and other charitable investments.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about .

About The Denver Foundation

The Denver Foundation is a community foundation that inspires people and mobilizes resources to improve life in Metro Denver. In 2020, the Foundation and its donors awarded $111 million in grants. The Denver Foundation has three roles: stewarding an endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver, working with community leaders to address the core challenges that face the community, and managing more than 1,000 charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families and businesses. To learn more about The Denver Foundation, visit www.denverfoundation.org

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