Hello Alice, the free platform helping over one million small businesses launch and grow, proudly announced the launch of the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard as it broadens its suite of inclusive capital products. In partnership with Mastercard, the exclusive payments network, and First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO), the card offers small business owners industry-leading accessibility to tools and services including expert business advice, powerful business insights, cashback, and a unique rewards program featuring the ability to earn points by completing business-advancing activities on the Hello Alice platform.
“We designed the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard to meet the needs of small business owners where they are, breaking longstanding barriers to mentorship, access to credit, and overall financial health for those who have traditionally been denied access,” said Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, co-founders of Hello Alice, “In times of economic boom and bust, access to capital remains the leading challenge for all small business owners, and particularly for New Majority owners, which is why we continue to focus our efforts on expanding the capital continuum beyond our existing grants and loans programs.”
To maximize capital accessibility for all small business owners, the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard will be offered as a traditional credit card as well as one with additional provisions to help with credit-building. For business owners with a limited or poor credit history, the credit-building credit card provides cardholders full card benefits while they improve their credit. In as few as twelve months, small business owners may, subject to credit approval, seamlessly graduate from a secured to an unsecured card, a unique feature in the market.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, yet too often face significant obstacles in securing the resources they deserve, particularly if the owners come from underserved communities,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president for North America at Mastercard. “The launch of the Hello Alice Small Business Mastercard is an important step in our mission to build a more inclusive digital economy by providing small businesses with the financial tools and capital they need to thrive, while also advancing our half-billion-dollar commitment to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap for Black communities.”
The card is part of Hello Alice’s larger Equitable Access to Capital program, a commitment to ensure that all small businesses have access to the capital they need to grow the sustainable businesses that power the national economy. The program provides all of the financial products, tools, and education for owners to scale their businesses, including its own grant fund providing security deposits for high-potential but credit-challenged small business owners. By 2025, Hello Alice estimates that approximately $70 million in grants could fund credit enhancements for approximately 30,000 business owners, unlocking up to $1 billion in credit access.
Entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, or people with disabilities continue to face barriers to accessing the capital they need for long-term success. In the latest Small Business Capital Access Study completed by Hello Alice*, seventy-eight percent of small business owners claim access to capital is limiting their ability to manage their day-to-day operations, with Black (84%) and Multi-Racial (82%) owners over-indexing on this claim. Eighty-nine percent of owners claim access to capital is limiting their business growth potential. The added stress of the pandemic and its lasting effects continue to impact small businesses. In a recent Hello Alice survey of Black business owners, 34%** of Black owners cited raising capital as their primary obstacle in 2022.
“FNBO has been committed to helping small businesses succeed for 165 years, and we are proud to partner with Hello Alice and Mastercard in this vital initiative to elevate all small businesses,” said Jerry J. O’Flanagan, Executive Vice President, Partner Customer Segment at First National Bank of Omaha.
Hello Alice serves a diverse community of business owners across the country. Approximately 68% of owners are BIPOC, 63% are female, and 17% are military-affiliated. For small business owners interested in learning more about the card, please visit https://hialice.co/meet-the-card. Please direct all media requests to Renee Rossi, firstname.lastname@example.org.