The Alumni of Color Advisory Council is honored to highlight and support businesses led by our BIPOC Hope Alumni, or Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Join us in recognizing these entrepreneurs and support their endeavors by visiting their websites, making a purchase or by sharing their stories with your social networks!

Natalie A. Brown ’17 | Author of Fifty-Two Cups of Coffee

Natalie Allison Brown is an award-winning author and motivational speaker. She is the author of Fifty-Two Cups of Coffee, a weekly devotional for the modern believer seeking intimacy with God. Passionate about the Gospel, she uses storytelling as a means to encourage, challenge, and inspire others.

To learn more about Natalie’s work visit her website at 

Grab a copy of Fifty-Two Cups of Coffee at the Hope College bookstore or on her website:

Dr. David Paul ’10 | Founder of Bold & Gritty 

Bold & Gritty is a coffee-focused lifestyle brand that highlights Black coffee and Black culture. Coffee is the vehicle by which they tell amazing stories of people doing inspiring things. When founder, David A. Paul, MD, MS – a neurosurgical resident in Rochester, New York – launched Bold and Gritty, he made a conscious effort to do something that builds a legacy. That commitment goes beyond the coffee that Bold and Gritty roasts and the merchandise they sell, it is how they go about their daily lives. The Bold and Gritty life is built on the small things that no one sees – the personal challenges and wins that create an indelible impression on the world, the stories that are shared with each other, and the culture we embrace.

To learn more about Dr. Paul’s work visit the Bold & Gritty website at

Stop by the Hope College bookstore to pick up your own bag of Bold & Gritty coffee while supplies last, or visit the website to grab coffee, clothing, candles and swag!

Crystal Wright ’98 | Artist

Crystal Wright was recently celebrated by local news station, ABC 13 On Your Side, for her passion and beautiful artwork. What began as a private
practice of illustrative journaling in her Bible, has grown into something more. After she started to share and sell her artwork on social media, orders started coming in from all over the nation.

Read more about Crystal and be sure to check out her artwork on display at the Bookstore.

Supporting BIPOC Owned Businesses

While the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted small businesses across the world, the 2021 Small Business Credit Survey – Report on Firms Owned by People of Color published by the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks concluded that the pandemic exacerbated historic challenges and provided evidence that firms owned by people of color face more significant negative effects on business revenue, employment, and operations as a result of the pandemic, than their white counterparts. 

Financial Conditions: 79% of Asian-owned firms and 77% of Black-owned firms reported that their financial condition was poor or fair, 54% of white-owned firms reported similar conditions.

Traditional Financing: Across owner groups, Black-owned firms that applied for traditional forms of financing were least likely to receive all of the financing they sought (13%). Hispanic and Asian-owned firms (20% and 31%, respectively) were also less likely than white-owned firms (40%) to receive all of the financing for which they applied.

Personal Funding: Black business owners were the most likely to tap into their personal funds in response to their firms’ financial challenges (74%) compared to Hispanic-owned firms (65%), Asian-owned firms (65%), and white-owned firms (61%). 

To view the full report, visit

Now more than ever, we must support BIPOC businesses in our community and ensure their future as wealth builders and trailblazers.

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