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First Cohort of Cross River and Operation HOPE’s ‘Entrepreneur Training Program’ Graduates

October 13, 2020

Program provides free, 8-week workshop for entrepreneurs and covers the fundamentals of starting a business

FORT LEE, N.J.—Cross River, a technology-focused financial services organization and Banking-as-a-Service (“BaaS”) provider, together with Operation HOPE, a leading nonprofit focused on financial literacy and empowerment, today announced the first graduating class of its Entrepreneur Training Program (“ETP”). 

“As a fast-growing financial technology company born and raised in New Jersey, at Cross River we recognize our responsibility to support entrepreneurs, especially those struggling during these difficult times,” said Eden Hoffman, Head of Communications at Cross River. “We congratulate the first graduating class of the Entrepreneur Training Program, a timely and exciting collaboration with Operation HOPE, and are eager to see each graduate’s next chapter and how they will pay it forward.”

Twelve participants of the first Entrepreneur Training Program cohort have successfully completed the 8-week interactive course. The Program is free and covers the basics of creating a business plan and starting a company. Participants also learn the fundamentals of advertising, marketing, financial statements and raising business capital, as well as receive pro bono access to high level executives at Cross River for mentorship, support and networking opportunities. Graduates from all cohorts of the Program will also be able to stay connected through an ETP alumni network and individualized business coaching to support a successful launch of their business. 

“Now more than ever, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses with the financial tools and business knowledge they need to navigate these uncertain times,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “We are proud to be working with Cross River to support this first graduating class of our Entrepreneur Training Program and look forward to supporting many more hardworking entrepreneurs in the future.”

Since March and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cross River and Operation HOPE have been working together to provide resources to individuals and community partners, including virtual financial literacy courses and small business development workshops. Additionally, through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Cross River provided more than 198,000 loans to small businesses in every sector and state across the country, saving almost 1 million employees’ jobs and having a profound impact on their families, too. 

“Before joining the Entrepreneur Training Program, starting my business seemed like a million miles away and writing the business plan seemed a little overwhelming,” said Roselind Brown, a graduate of the first Entrepreneur Training Program cohort. “Now after the program, I have a business plan and detailed next steps to reach my goals. With this plan, I am motivated and determined to make my business a success.”

The second cohort of the Entrepreneur Training Program is already in session. Cross River is partnering with local organizations for additional Fall 2020 cohorts, as well as continued financial literacy programming in communities across the country. 

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its fourth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator.

For more information: Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope