Corporation and Agencies invited to particpate in the Challenge; click here

What is the $50 Million Challenge?

The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activities within the State of New Jersey. New Jersey is home to approximately 60,000 African American owned businesses, generating over $4.4 Billion dollars in annual revenues and African American businesses have grown by 66 percent since the last census was taken. Despite these facts, the aggregate and sustained growth of African Americans has not kept pace with mainstream business enterprises in New Jersey.

Therefore, being a solution-oriented organization and in its efforts to assist in strengthening New Jersey's economy, the AACCNJ is posing a challenge to identify corporations throughout the state that will commit to the issuance of $50 million in contracts to African American firms over the next year. Some areas of interest for these potential contract are:
  • Technology
  • Financial Services
  • Legal
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
The AACCNJ is asking corporate CEOs to work in partnership with the AACCNJ to identify five African American companies and agree to contract for products and services of $10 million. The identified companies will be required to meet a few additional conditions that would be imposed by the AACCNJ:
  • Identify a clear value proposition for the corporation to consider;
  • Partner/Mentor 2-3 smaller African American companies;
  • Participate in some measurable community enrichment responsibility, such as hiring ex-felons, supporting education or providing financing for small businesses.
Additionally, as a separate challenge, the AACCNJ seeks to coordinate a strategy with state government and its 59 public agencies as well as county and municipal governments, to increase public contracting opportunities by 15 percent to African American businesses. This will be an AACCNJ initiative not an imposed goal of government; however, in order for the AACCNJ to have success, the government must be a willing partner.

Lastly, according to the most recent census, 94 percent of New Jersey's African American firms are sole proprietors; therefore, we need a strategy in New Jersey that would better position these firms for growth and opportunity.

"I believe our proposed collaboration between the private and public sectors is long overdue and is desperately needed to elevate other boats," says President/CEO, John Harmon.