Foundation for the Carolinas is set to announce a new grant program that could help hundreds of “diverse-owned” small businesses buy capital assets.

The $20 million Beyond Open initiative will be funded by Wells Fargo and will focus primarily on businesses located in or near Charlotte’s six Corridors of Opportunity.

Details are expected later this morning.

Why it matters: Studies have shown that access to capital is one of the greatest needs faced by Black business owners.

One Yale University study found that while 11.6% of white workers are self-employed, only 3.8 percent of black workers employ themselves.

Beyond Open will make grants ranging from $5,000 to more than $250,000, depending on the stage and needs of the business.

Unlike loans, the grants will not have to be repaid.

Who qualifies: businesses owners who identify as women, minority, LGBTQ or veterans.

The goal of the program is to help recipients grow their businesses, build wealth and expand economic mobility in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, according to a statement.

Foundation for the Carolinas will lead the initiative.

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