The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recently announced its partnership with Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, to create a Diversity Franchising Initiative to increase the number of African-American-owned franchise businesses in the United States.

Through this partnership, Dunkin’ Brands and the NAACP will collaborate to offer people of color in-depth franchising education and training, as well as assistance in overcoming the financial challenges related to becoming a franchise owner. The partnership was announced at the NAACP’s 105th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

“Franchising can be a powerful economic tool that further enables the African-American community and others to realize the American dream of business ownership,” said Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO. “We are excited to announce this unique partnership with Dunkin’ Brands and to improve opportunities for people of color in the franchising sector, because of the substantial impact these agreements have on empowering and employing people of color.”

“The Dunkin’ Brands Diversity in Franchising Initiative will provide education, networking opportunities and information on critical topics, including access to capital,” said Dedrick Muhammad, Senior Director of the NAACP Economic Department.  “Ultimately, we hope this program helps to increase the number of African-American franchise business owners in the US, in both the short and long term.”

The initiative is part of Dunkin’ Brands’ ongoing efforts to provide resources to help qualified franchisee candidates overcome barriers to financing, including providing guidance on business plan development, facilitating access to capital, and forging relationships with local community lenders.