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News Briefs

1863 Ventures Receives $1 Million from Principal Foundation for 3Rs Program

The Recover, Rebuild, Resilience program has over 170 grants totaling $850K to help Black and Brown entrepreneurs navigate continued pandemic uncertainty and strengthen operations.

1863 Ventures is a DC-based business development non-profit for New Majority entrepreneurs – historically marginalized individuals. The company recently extended its 3Rs business development program with $1 million in additional funding from Principal Foundation. The 3Rs stand for Recover, Rebuild and Resilience.

1863 Ventures’ 3Rs program’s purpose is to combat COVID-19’s disproportionate and detrimental effects in communities of color. Initially, 3Rs launched with Capital One in November 2020 to service Washington, D.C. businesses. In March 2021, 1863 Ventures expanded its scope nationwide, servicing an additional 12 cities, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Now, in collaboration with Principal Foundation, 3Rs will support Black and Brown businesses in four new cities.

3Rs goals

Principal Foundation’s $1 million grant supports 1863 Ventures’ expansion into four new cities: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Des Moines, Iowa. Many overlook these cities in terms of scaling start-ups and business development programming. 3Rs’ goals are to help women and Black and Brown founders navigate economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic and empower them through three months of live and online curated business development curriculum, as well as one-on-one business coaching. Subject matter experts help Black and Brown businesses reevaluate their business models, recommending pivots where necessary. Additionally, they help entrepreneurs set targeted growth strategies and execute them with a clear roadmap. The grant will also allow 1863 Ventures to provide an additional 170 small businesses with $5,000 grants.

The New Majority and the pandemic

“1863 Ventures is taking extraordinary leaps to ensure New Majority entrepreneurs across the country are seen, heard and supported equitably. It’s not enough for entrepreneurs to only receive business programming and coaching from incubators. They need access to capital as well. We’re humbled to work with Principal Foundation to help Black and Brown entrepreneurs in four new cities,” said Melissa Bradley, Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures. “Black and Brown entrepreneurs were among the hardest hit during the pandemic but received the lowest levels of investment to survive. We have an obligation to protect and scale the small business ecosystem that bolsters Black and Brown founders.”

“Small businesses have been dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Through our grant in support of the 3Rs program, we aim to give meaningful support to small businesses as they recover, grow, create jobs, and play a vital role in supporting our communities. Moreover, we aim to provide women and entrepreneurs of color in often overlooked cities with the resources and tools they need to scale their businesses and thrive now and for years to come,” said Jo Christine Miles, director of Principal Foundation and Principal Community Relations.

Read more about another company working to bridge the gender and racial funding gap: Lioness Powerbroker Lauren Washington.

New goals for 1863 Ventures

 Melissa Bradley founded 1863 Ventures in 2016 with more than 20 years of investment, educational, and entrepreneurial experience. Her goal was to help 500 Black entrepreneurial-minded residents in DC start businesses and create jobs. Now, the company’s mission is to create $100 billion in new wealth by 2030 through both its non-profit programming and venture fund. 1863 Ventures has its goals set very high to change the narrative for New Majority founders. 1863 Ventures’ entrepreneur membership represents nearly $350 million+ in revenues and over 4k jobs created.

Stay involved

For participants in the aforementioned cities with an incorporated business (LLC, C-Corp or S-Corp), the business development portal is now open here. Grant funding in these cities will commence as soon as founders complete the online self-paced curriculum. Entrepreneurs who are not Black or Brown and are not based in the grant cities can still participate in the business development components of the curriculum; however, they will not be eligible for grant funding.

1863 Ventures welcomes additional funding partners that can help extend grant awards to other hard-hit communities across the United States. Further, 1863 Ventures welcomes community partners to help disseminate the program information to businesses that can benefit from the 3Rs program. Learn more at

About Principal Foundation

Principal Financial Group Foundation, Inc., (“Principal Foundation”) is a duly recognized 501(c)(3) entity focused on providing philanthropic support to programs that build financial security in the communities where it operates. While Principal Foundation receives funding from Principal, Principal Foundation is a distinct, independent, charitable entity. Principal Foundation does not practice any form of investment advisory services and is not authorized to do so. 

About 1863 Ventures

1863 Ventures is the #1 national business development nonprofit for New Majority Entrepreneurs; historically marginalized individuals (e.g. BIPOC). The DC-based non-profit organization’s mission is to create $100 billion in New Wealth, by and for New Majority Entrepreneurs, by 2030. Melissa Bradley, entrepreneur, VC investor and Georgetown University associate professor founded the organization. This year, 1863 Ventures will support over 1,500 New Majority entrepreneurs across the United States, through programming and grant support. Learn more at

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