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Small Business Matters

Hancock Whitney (Winner) - Gulfport, Mississippi

2021 Community Commitment Awards Submission

  • Entry Category: Economic Inclusion
  • Asset Size: Medium

Launched summer 2019 through Hancock Whitney’s Community Reinvestment Act division, Hancock Whitney Small Business Matters (HWSBM) is a comprehensive companywide entrepreneurship and small business outreach program to educate and create opportunities for pre-existing business owners and their teams, with an emphasis on minority and women owned businesses. HWSBM also helps deliver the access to opportunity core to Hancock Whitney’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

HWSBM concentrates on four goals for entrepreneurial and small business success: Grow; Fund; Market; and Manage. Initial training entails a three-to-six-week series of three-hour sessions exploring those areas of concentration. Special sessions on related topics are available at clinics and in-market expos co-hosted by Hancock Whitney small business experts and approved business/community partners adept in certain fields of expertise.

To further expand HWSBM impacts, Hancock Whitney’s 2020 competitive grants afforded funding for eligible 501 (c)(3) organizations providing technical assistance and promoting the growth of businesses with revenues of million or less, particularly minority and women owned businesses struggling to survive pandemic hardships. In conjunction with HWSBM and Community Development, Hancock Whitney dedicates a floor of its historic Gulfport Building as a Mississippi Small Business Development Center (MS-SBDC) Business Resource Center—a hub to help Gulf Coast entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed.

In concert with HWSBM, a Hancock Whitney SBA lending executive directs team and technology enhancements to secure Hancock Whitney as a provider of choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners anxious to grow their organizations and strengthen local economies.