The Partner to Empower Program: Promoting Meaningful Diversity

Case Study
Minute Read
In 2021, Brookfield’s Real Estate Group launched Partner to Empower, a program designed to support Black and minority business owners who want to open and maintain successful brick-and-mortar stores in our retail locations. The goal is to ensure that Brookfield Real Estate’s retail locations reflect the diversity of the communities in which they operate.

The program provides financial support and resources to provide guidance and build strong networks. Brookfield has committed $25 million to this program over the next five years, which will be distributed to support the buildout and merchandising of physical retail stores as they open in our shopping centers. We have also partnered with 32 professional and financial services firms and educational institutions to launch a variety of workshops to support opening a business. These workshops cover a range of topics, including: 

  • Developing business models 
  • Business law, leases and risk management
  • Attracting investment 
  • Leadership and talent management 
  • Market selection and expansion strategies 
  • Store design and merchandising 
  • Business banking 
  • Franchising 
  • Human resources and staffing 
  • Marketing, branding and public relations 
  • Sales systems and inventory management 
  • Store operations 
Partner to Empower Program_owner

In the first year of operation, 40 businesses within 25 communities in the southeastern U.S. participated in this program. Sixty percent of these are owned by women, and 25  have opened or are well on their way to opening their stores. In 2022, Brookfield expects to expand the program to the Northeast and Midwest, and open 50–75 new stores.

Brookfield’s long-term goal is to expand the program nationally by 2025. We expect this program to support 250 new store openings and create over 750 new jobs. Our success in executing this program will go beyond the opened businesses by creating an ecosystem of support between the current business owners and our partners, the local community, and members of the Black and minority communities.