Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt Announce New Economic Empowerment Partnership to Help People Do Well While Doing Good

Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt Announce New Economic Empowerment Partnership to Help People Do Well While Doing Good

Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt Announce New Economic Empowerment Partnership to Help People Do Well While Doing Good

Furthering its goals to Reduce Inequalities and promote Decent Work and Economic Growth, Impact Hub Houston (IHH) is proud to announce a new partnership with SpenDebt, a Houston-based fintech company on a mission to help one-million families turn every swipe of their debit card into an investment in their future.

Joined by a common mission — to strengthen local economies and empower people to improve their financial situations so they can get on the path to wealth creation — Impact Hub Houston and SpenDebt decided to launch this partnership during Black History Month, to spotlight SpenDebt, a black-owned startup founded in Houston, and its financial tools platform.

Under the partnership, SpenDebt will offer members of the Impact Hub Houston community the opportunity to use the app for FREE for 3 months. Anyone who would like to participate in the partnership pilot can sign up for an account at SpenDebt and enter “IHH” (case sensitive) under the promotion code to receive the 3 months free.

SpenDebt will help participants set their own goals to pay down their debt as they use their debit card for everyday purchases. Users will also be able to donate to Impact Hub Houston alongside their micropayments; and SpenDebt will generously match up to $500 for all donations made to Impact Hub Houston. Participants are welcomed to continue to use the application after the 3 month offer, and the $0.10 per transaction will continue to be donated to Impact HUB Houston every month.

Impact Hub Houston encourages people to begin paying down their debt through manageable micropayments, so they can get on a faster track to positive wealth creation. To learn more about SpenDebt and how it can help you improve your financial situation, SpenDebt Co-Founder Kiley Summers will present it and answer questions during Houston’s Open Project Night on February 10 at 5:00pm.

SpenDebt is a financial technology company designed to assist people to pay off debt, leveraging micropayment through everyday transactions. SpenDebt is on a mission to help save one million families from financial fatalities every time they swipe their debit cards or have a banking transaction.

Impact Hub Houston is a 501(c)(3) non-profit impact innovation incubator that equitably empowers diverse changemakers and entrepreneurs working to solve society’s most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network — recognized by the United Nations as the world’s largest community for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Impact Hub Houston provides intentional programs, an inclusive innovation ecosystem, and an international network of experts and peers aligned to inspire, connect, and empower people to create the change they wish to see in the world.

Announcing: #MarketBlack! Impact Hub Houston and The Black Marketing Initiative Team Up to Support Black-Owned Businesses

Announcing: #MarketBlack! Impact Hub Houston and The Black Marketing Initiative Team Up to Support Black-Owned Businesses

Impact Hub Houston and the Black Marketing Initiative Partner to Launch “#MarketBlack”: A Virtual Business Success Training and Small Business Fund for Houston Area Businesses.

In service to our community, and in honor of Black History Month, Impact Hub Houston and the Black Marketing Initiative (BMI) are excited to announce #MarketBlack — BMI’s new training, mentoring, and networking program specifically designed to help black entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Greater Houston area elevate their businesses, connect with resources, and uplift them during and after the pandemic, with the belief that community can positively impact us all.

Designed by educators and entrepreneurs, #MarketBlack brings together 7 weeks of expert-led workshops, creative community cultivation, and interactive training modules specifically geared toward Black entrepreneurs in Houston. Impact Hub Houston serves as The Black Marketing Initiative’s fiscal sponsor for the project, to provide promotional and fundraising support, access to its network and community, and ensure the project’s success. Another key community partner, Sankofa Research Institute, is providing research services for the program, tracking partners’ and participants’ progress and outcomes in order to report on the health of Houston’s black business community and determine the efficacy of the program.

MarketBlack enjoys the support of more than 20 businesses and entrepreneurs in the Houston area, and is continuing to grow every day. In addition to Impact Hub Houston and The Black Marketing Initiative, partners and participants in the project include: Action One Media, Marcus Bowers of Marcus Bowers TV and She’s Happy Hair, Sankofa Research Institute, Choose to Do, Inc, Emergent Business Solutions (the creator of African Fashion Week), South Union CDC of the Sunnyside Energy Project, and many local business owners who are serving as expert panelists, instructors, and financial partners throughout the program.

Action Jackson, one of the leaders and organizers of MarketBlack, shares: “The Black Marketing Initiative is not just about being Black — it is also about the belief that community can positively impact us all. Successful Black entrepreneurs are good for business. Good for community. Good for everybody. We have to be the change we want to see. Join us in our mission to not only ensure Black Owned Businesses survive, but THRIVE! Be a part of history TODAY: Help us raise money to ensure sustainability of small businesses in our area. Together, #WeAllCanWin!”

To learn more, visit https://houston.impacthub.net/black-marketing-initiative/

You can help Houston’s black entrepreneurs by supporting the program now at https://www.betterunite.com/marketblack!

Learn more about the Black Marketing Initiative and the MarketBlack Program at BlackMarketingInitiative.com

PSA: Houston Health Department free COVID-19 testing schedule for week of December 14 

PSA: Houston Health Department free COVID-19 testing schedule for week of December 14 

Due to the surging COVID-19 case numbers in Texas, we’re sharing these resources with you in order to make sure you have updated and accurate information to keep you and your loved ones and community safe and healthy over the holidays:
 
The Houston Health Department and its agency partners are announcing the schedule for sites offering free COVID-19 tests the week of December 14, 2020. The week will offer 19 FREE+FAST+SAFE testing sites across Houston.

Houston Health Department
The Houston Health Department will offer drive-thru testing at two surge sites affiliated with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star Drive, and Houston Community College – North Forest, 6010 Little York Rd., will offer nasal self swab tests Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Appointments are available at doineedacovid19test.com and on-site registration is also available. Each site has a daily capacity of 1,250 tests.

The department also offers free drive-thru testing via self-nasal swab at the Aramco Services Company, 9009 W. Loop South. The mega testing site will open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site has a daily capacity of 1,000 tests.

People wanting to get tested at the Aramco site can call the department’s COVID-19 Call Center at 832-393-4220.

The department will offer testing at three community sites that don’t require appointments and remain open until each reaches its daily capacity of 250 tests. The sites and their hours of operation are:

  • Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 6921 Chetwood Drive, Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., drive thru or walk up, self-nasal swab,
  • Melrose Community Center, 1001 Canino Rd., Tuesday-Thursday. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., drive thru, self-nasal swab, and
  • Unity of Houston Church, 2929 Unity Dr., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. drive thru or walk up, self-nasal swab.

The department will provide self-nasal swab testing at the METRO Addicks Park & Ride, 14230 Katy Freeway, and the Multicultural Center, 951 Tristar Drive, city of Webster. Appointments are available by calling the department’s call center at 832-393-4220.

Texas Division of Emergency Management
Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Houston Astros offer self-oral swab tests daily at Minute Maid Park (Lot C), 2208 Preston. The testing site’s capacity is 1,200 tests per day.

The site features evening hours twice a week, eight drive-thru testing lanes and four walk-up testing lanes. It opens 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Spanish-speaking staff is available on-site.

Visit curative.com to set an appointment or obtain more information. On-site registration is also available.

TDEM and the department will also operate drive-thru sites offering tests Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:

  • HCC – Northeast Campus, 555 Community College Drive, self-mouth swab tests, and
  • HCC – South Campus, 1990 Airport Blvd., nasal swab tests by healthcare professionals.

TDEM and the department offer drive thru, nasal-swab tests administered by healthcare professionals at LeRoy Crump Stadium, 12321 Alief Clodine Rd. The site is open Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Appointments for TDEM sites are available at covidtest.tdem.texas.gov. On-site registration is also available.

United Memorial Medical Center
United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) will offer nasal-swab testing by healthcare professionals at drive-thru test sites at:

  • Plaza Americas Mall, 7500 Bellaire Blvd.,
  • Houston Community College – Southeast, 6815 Rustic, and
  • UMMC Tidwell, 510 W. Tidwell Rd.

The sites don’t require appointments and offer testing weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until reaching daily capacity of 300 tests.

People needing information about UMMC test sites can call 1-866-333-COVID or visit ummcscreening.com.

Curative
Curative will provide walk up, self-mouth swab tests daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at three locations, each with a 900 daily test capacity:

  • Memorial Park Running Trails Center, 7575 N. Picnic Lane,
  • Kroger, 1801 S. Voss Rd, and
  • Kroger, 9303 S. Highway 6.
  • Food Town, 2770 N. Sam Houston Parkway West (starting December 16).

Appointments are required and available at curative.com.

Federally Qualified Health Centers
The health department is providing test kits, lab access and equipment to local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) so they can expand their COVID-19 testing capacity. The centers and phone numbers people can call to set up testing appointments are:

  • HOPE Clinic, 713-773-0803
  • Spring Branch Community Health Center, 713-462-6565
  • El Centro de Corazon, 713-660-1880
  • Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, 713-426-0027
  • Lone Star Circle of Care at the University of Houston, 346-348-1200, and
  • Scarsdale Family Health Center, 281-824-1480.

FQHC patients pay what they can afford, based on income and family size, and are not denied services due to inability to pay or lack of insurance.

The department and its agency partners may shift locations and schedules of test sites to better meet community needs. Houstonians can visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for current Houston testing sites and information about stopping the spread of the virus.

Information obtained through testing, treatment or services will not be used against immigrants in their public charge evaluation.

THANK YOU for making THIS 2020 a success!

THANK YOU for making THIS 2020 a success!

We are grateful for YOU! After a year riddled with challenges and crisis, we truly appreciate all of you who stepped up to host an event, made time to speak and share your insights, and showed up to connect with and learn from your peers for The Houston Innovation Summit this year. You helped ensure Houston and Texas were at the top of people’s minds for Innovation + Impact during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Thanks to you, Houston became the #3 city in the country for GEW this year!

A few quick stats on #THIS2020:

  • Number of Houston-based events and conferences: 55
  • Approximate number of speakers and participants: 1513 people
  • Estimated Social Media Reach: 185,725 people
  • Reach Outside of Social Media: 654,128 people

What did you think of the summit? Please let us know by answering this 3-5 minute survey: http://bit.ly/THIS-Survey

Couldn’t make all of the events and want to see what you missed?

We started uploading some of them to our YouTube channel — please subscribe to learn when new sessions are posted! A few highlights that are currently available:

 

Congratulations to the Climathon Houston 2020 Winners! (View a video recap of this year’s idea pitches, hackathon sessions, and awards ceremony here.)

 

Want to stay connected with the #HOUImpact community? Here’s how:

Lastly, if you took any fun screenshots, photos, or video during the summit, please share them with us on online by tagging us and adding #THIS2020 + #HOUImpact.

We hope you’re having a wonderful holiday weekend; and we look forward to seeing you on the interwebs again soon!

Cheers to impact,
Grace, Michelle, and the Impact Hub Houston community

P.S. Established in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey, THIS celebrates Houston’s impact + innovation ecosystem by bringing together startups, entrepreneurs, funders, talent and support organizations through a week of programs and events. If you’d like to participate in THIS next year as a sponsor or event host, please contact Grace!

Special Thanks to Houston Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Syzygy Plasmonics, Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union, Houston Exponential, HCC, Z Labs, SoGal Foundation, Greentown Houston, and Impact Hub Houston Members for your continued support!

We hope you’re staying safe and taking care of yourself. If you think you’ve been exposed, you can find local testing locations at https://covidcheck.hctx.net/.

Join Us for THIS: The Houston Innovation+Impact Summit November 16-22!

Join Us for THIS: The Houston Innovation+Impact Summit November 16-22!

Announcing the Fourth Annual “THIS: THE HOUSTON INNOVATION SUMMIT” – Celebrating Houston During Global Entrepreneurship Week!

October 28, 2020 – Houston, TX – Impact Hub Houston, a 501c3 nonprofit startup incubator dedicated to helping diverse changemakers and social entrepreneurs launch impact-driven ventures, is excited to announce the fourth annual “THIS: The Houston Innovation Summit.” A week-long celebration of Houston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 16-22, THIS 2020 focuses on the intersections of Innovation and Impact, bringing together economic stakeholders, startups, startup development organizations, entrepreneurs, investors, funders through a series of events around the Global Entrepreneur Network’s themes of “Education, Ecosystems, Inclusion, Policy.”

“Each year, Global Entrepreneurship Week amplifies the great work being done to support entrepreneurs across the country while connecting them to more opportunities to start and scale in their own communities,” said Ellen Bateman, director for U.S. ecosystems at the Global Entrepreneurship Network. 

“From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial injustice to the increasingly dire effects of climate change to one of the most polarized political environments this generation has seen, 2020 has presented a number of crises for changemakers to respond to” said Grace Rodriguez, CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston and Founder of THIS. “But Houston is resilient. Houstonians are resilient. We’ve made great strides in rising to this year’s challenges by launching new resources to help diverse communities survive and thrive; by strengthening collaboration among our startup and small businesses ecosystems to support diverse entrepreneurs; and by developing more inclusive practices and sustainable policies for our city to move forward. We are excited to bring together Houston’s startup community and Impact Hub’s global network to showcase this progress, share lessons learned, and raise awareness for our innovation ecosystem internationally. With many in-person events postponed and people continuing to work from home, THIS is a great way to help everyone connect, get inspired, learn from and celebrate each other as we grow the next generation of big ideas.”

THIS 2020 highlights include:

To register for any of these programs and learn more about the full schedule of events, please visit http://thehoustoninnovationsummit.com > Full Calendar

###

About Impact Hub Houston (https://houston.impacthub.net)

Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, 501c3 nonprofit startup and small business development organization that works to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global networkthe world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms and programs to empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters and build an inclusive innovation ecosystem that looks like Houston and works for all.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week (https://www.genglobal.org/gew)

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors — introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.  

VOTE November 3rd: Our Democracy Depends On It!

VOTE November 3rd: Our Democracy Depends On It!

You can make a difference: Vote *in person* on Election Day, November 3, 2020 to ensure your vote gets counted!

  • Find Your Polling Place – Polling locations and times are subject to change so be sure to locate your polling place before you go.
  • See What’s On Your Ballot – use Ballotpedia’s sample ballot lookup tool to view your state’s ballot and learn more about local races in your county.
  • Review Voter ID Requirements – Voter ID requirements can frequently change, so double check your state’s Voter ID Laws to ensure you have what you need before you head to the polls.
  • Practice COVID-19 Safety – Continue to follow essential COVID-19 health tips including wearing a mask, sanitize/wash your hands before and after voting, and maintain social distancing while waiting in line. Select your state to view COVID-19 election information.
  • VOTE! – Make sure your voice is heard on November 3. Vote early to avoid longer wait times on Election Day. Make a voting plan and check in with your friends to make sure they are ready to snag a snazzy “I Voted” sticker, too.

To find your voter eligibility and your closest polling locations, visit voteamerica.com.

To protect your rights as a voter, get to know what they are and what you’re able to do about them at vote.org’s Election Protection Guide. If you encounter any issues when trying to vote, call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-687-8683.

Now share this with your friends and family, and make your plan to get to the polls on Tuesday, November 3rd!

Diverse Entrepreneurs: We Want to Help You! #CloseTheGap

Diverse Entrepreneurs: We Want to Help You! #CloseTheGap

If you are an impact-driven social entrepreneur and have an idea or startup that is creating a positive impact in your community, we are launching “Close the Gap” to help accelerate your project!

To encourage and support change on a community level, Impact Hub and adidas have partnered to support 30 early-stage social start-ups, non-profit organizations, or initiatives from around the world.

The aim is to empower businesses that are led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and changemakers who are supporting diverse populations to close the opportunity gap through education and/or sports. This will be done by providing tailored virtual support, expert advice, and networking opportunities.

If selected, you will receive:

  • Expert business advice from adidas’ employees on the main challenges facing the entrepreneur.
  • Venture visibility in the Impact Hub and adidas network.
  • A FREE Global Connect Membership and access to the Impact Hub network.

Get your idea off the ground and apply now! > https://closethegap.impacthub.net

Celebrating Juneteenth with our First Core Conversation & Curated Calendar of Events

Many thanks to all who joined the kick-off to our new series, “Core Conversations,” this week! Aimed at raising awareness, understanding, and action for the issues that profoundly impact our community, each Core Conversation will examine a Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) within our local context, provide space to reflect, challenge our assumptions, and explore potential solutions to society’s wicked problems.

We intentionally kicked off our new “Core Conversations” series this week in honor of Juneteenth — “America’s Second Independence Day” — to shed light on racial discrimination and share ideas on how we can work to reduce inequalities (SDG 10) and promote decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) for all. Most importantly, we hope it moves you to reflect on your own role in your community, learn why black lives matter, and explore what you can do to be the change for racial equity and social justice.

Today’s conversations — inspired by John Lewis’s quote, “If Not Us, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?” explored how race and racism impact systemic and generational health, social, and economic outcomes; and shared how members from Impact Hub Baltimore, Impact Hub Boston, and Impact Hub New York Metropolitan Area are working to improve those outcomes. Our speakers included Phillip Yates (Attorney, Equiliberty Founder/CEO, The Diversity Fund Co-Founder, Impact Hub Houston Board Chair); Kelvin D. Lyons Jr. (“What’s Good, Bro?” podcast Co-Host); Kerry Bowie (Msaada Partners Managing Partner); Karen Brown Stovell (Forward Ever Executive Director); and Michelle Avalos (Impact Hub Houston Director of Operations).

We were able to record the conversation with Phillip so you can learn about his experiences as a “First Generation Black American” and how that inspires and impacts who he is and what he does: https://youtu.be/AjFiVQrWJIU

In honor of Juneteenth this Friday, you’re invited to continue learning from black perspectives through a variety of virtual talks, performances, workshops and celebrations led by black organizations across the country. We’ve curated a few highlights on our calendar — https://bit.ly/juneteenth2020events — notably:

We are putting our Core Values to the test to reflect, re-examine, and re-imagine who we are and who we want to be as a community, so we can see where we fall short and strategize how we should move forward. We hope you’ll continue to join us on this journey!

If you have topics you’d like us to explore, please let us know on LinkedInFacebookInstagram, or Twitter. And if you’d like to connect with other Impact Hubs around the country, you can find links to them through our map at https://houston.impacthub.net/globalnetwork/.

Be safe and well!
In community and solidarity,
Grace and Michelle
Impact Hub Houston

P.S. Here’s a round-up of links and resources from the event, for your reference:

Initiatives, organizations and resources to learn from, support, and take action on:

Impact Hub Baltimore: https://baltimore.impacthub.net/stories-2/

Impact Hub Boston: https://impacthubboston.net/Boston/boston-region/black-lives-matter/

Impact Hub Houston: https://houston.impacthub.net/on-inclusion-and-equity-let-our-actions-speak-loudly/

Impact Hub New York Metropolitan Area: https://newyork.impacthub.net/

What’s Good, Bro? (WGB?):

 

Many thanks to our peers around the world — including  Impact Hub Zurich, Impact Hub Manila, and all of our Impact Hub fam around the world — for standing beside us in denouncing racism, xenophobia, prejudice and bigotry in all forms!