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What if all doors were open to all?

Ernst & Young LLP is committed to advancing justice, inclusion and equality for all

Atlanta is known as the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and for the prominent role the city played in the US civil rights movement that rose up in support of racial equity in the 1950s and 1960s. The fight for equality continues to this day through initiatives such as ATL Action for Racial Equity,¹ which is backed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) and over 225 companies across the metro Atlanta area have signed on to this initiative.

Leveraging the size, scale and know-how of Atlanta-based companies to make impactful change is an approach that will fuel our economy and set an example for the nation.

EY US is taking actions as a firm to eradicate racism and discrimination by leveraging its influence to drive strategic change. As a part of its anti-racism efforts, EY US is contributing a collective total of $4 million to four historically black colleges and universities to help increase the number of Black Americans in professional services. Two of those colleges, Morehouse College and Spelman College, are based in Atlanta and will receive $1 million each.

EY US Atlanta Office Managing Partner Glenn Mitchell is involved in the initiative, and the firm has key leaders on the boards at both Morehouse and Spelman.

An example of the EY commitment to diversity, inclusion and equality is being led by Sam Johnson, EY Americas Vice Chair – Accounts, and a graduate of Morehouse. Johnson spearheaded the launch of the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network² (EAN), a program designed to elevate scalable Black- and Latinx-owned companies by providing access to resources, networks and capital delivered through a planned curriculum. Johnson cited a report from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship³ that demonstrates the power of minority-owned businesses.

“Over the last 10 years, minority business enterprises accounted for more than 50% of the two million new businesses started in the United States and created 4.7 million jobs,” the report explains. “There are now more than four million minority-owned companies in the United States, with annual sales totaling close to $700 billion.”

The EAN program seeks to build on that momentum, as it affords multiple avenues for growth with a Curated program, as well as OnDemand learning. Those selected for the Curated path come from both emerging (more than two years in business, up to $5m in revenue) and established (more than five years in business, $6m in revenue or more) companies that are more than 51% minority-owned and are largely based in 10 markets across the US, including Atlanta.

The Curated program pairs these entrepreneurs with EY relationship advisors and Entrepreneur Of The Year® mentors who help build networks inside and outside the firm. The program is designed to create connections with incubators, accelerators, and potential customers and clients. Further, in the spirit of zero barriers, the EAN OnDemand program is available to all entrepreneurs who apply regardless of revenue, ownership and operational maturity levels. It offers free access to online curricula, webcasts and other content that can help them achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

“It’s the responsibility of everyone — from investors, to lenders, to retailers — to make sure the path to business ownership is available to all entrepreneurs,” says Lee Henderson, EY Americas EY Private Leader and EAN Executive Sponsor.

Additional resources

EY Atlanta initiatives

In a city of millions, how can every action make a difference?

Working together to transform the future of Atlanta.

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From startup to megacorporation, how do we cultivate Atlanta’s economic growth?

EY is proud to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Atlanta.

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