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Next 1B

Our goal is to accelerate the growth of the next generation of billion-dollar Black-owned brands.

With a rising demand for inclusivity on retail shelves, consumers in the United States are urging companies to support Black-owned brands, suppliers, and vendors. Despite this, our research suggests that Black-owned brands encounter outsized challenges to scaling and being able to meet this demand.

As part of our 10 actions toward racial equity, we created the Next 1B program to support these businesses on the path to “unicorn” status—that is, attaining an equivalent company valuation of one billion dollars or more.

The program brings together the best of McKinsey professional development and industry expertise—in collaboration with an unrivaled network of successful Black founders, major retailers, and investors—to help Black-owned brands unlock the next phase of growth.

Next 1B leaders explain the program's aim of helping Black business founders jump-start the next phase of growth

Our offerings

Next 1B: Founders

A 8-12 week learning, connectivity, and capital introductions program aimed at smaller Black-owned brands

The program is designed to comprehensively cover the founder journey and deliver practical tools, McKinsey expertise, and leadership coaching to help businesses grow. We start with the mindset and leadership required to unlock the next stage of growth, followed by deep dive sessions on how to operationalize growth, from getting on retailer shelves to digital marketing and fulfillment. Post-program, founders will have access to a library of tools and industry research, along with entry into a growing network of other Black founders.

Eligibility: Eligible businesses are typically more than one year in maturity with anywhere from $250k-$5M+ in annual revenue

Next 1B: Scalers

Dedicated support to build and execute growth plans aimed at more established, larger Black-owned brands

Compared with our Founders program, Scalers is for larger brands that are ready to take on the next horizon of growth to achieve unicorn status. The program begins with a growth diagnostic to identify and prioritize opportunities (including new distribution channels, product line expansion, and marketing activation), and assess brand readiness to capture opportunities (including operational readiness and organizational talent). We will then co-create a plan of action to pursue the highest priority areas.

Eligibility: Eligible businesses are typically one or more years in maturity and have at least $10 million in annual revenue

Interested in applying?

To register your interest in joining the Next 1B program, or to request more information, please email us.

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Featured Insights

Podcast

Building Black-owned brands to accelerate prosperity

– Black-owned businesses are crucial to America’s long-term prosperity, but they face long-time challenges. How can McKinsey’s Next 1B accelerator help create a more inclusive environment for Black entrepreneurs?
Article

The rise of the inclusive consumer

– Social values are shaping purchase decisions more than ever—and retailers that act now stand to attract consumers’ loyalty and spending.
Article

The Black unicorn: Changing the game for inclusivity in retail

– In the age of the inclusive consumer, harnessing the power of retail can increase demand for Black-owned brands.
Article

The diversity imperative in retail

– Consumers are expecting more from brands than ever before, and the cost is high for retailers that don’t take action on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Article - McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility

Building supportive ecosystems for Black-owned US businesses

– The right business ecosystems can mitigate or negate the effects of structural obstacles to business building for Black business owners—and add $290 billion in business equity.

Register your interest

To register your interest in joining the Next 1B program, please fill out the application survey in the register link. If you would like to request more information, please email us at founders@mckinsey.com