Maryland Small Business Development, Truist Driving Fearless’ Bid to Turn ‘Impact’ Company

Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority and North Carolina’s Truist Bank will drive a visionary bid by Baltimore-based Fearless to transform itself into an “impact” company, and attain an ambitious $1 billion in revenues by 2030.

The two entities have agreed to provide a combined $17 million to fund expansion of the 14-year-old government vendor that initially started out to build technology “with a soul.” But good technology “on its own can’t make a difference in the world,” founder and CEO Delali Dzirasa, a computer engineer, said, as he laid out a new vision for Fearless in a recent blog post.

“To really move the needle, we have to think bigger than tech. That’s why we’re expanding and evolving our services beyond tech to help organizations develop their people and organizational operations and strategies,” he said, after winning the financial support of the Maryland agency and North Carolina’s largest state-chartered commercial and savings banks by assets.

Social Good

Fearless now plans to foray into 10 countries, with the goal of improving 100 million lives, and focusing on core issues such as efficient government, social justice, human life and quality living. It aims to raise another $10 million in capital by year-end to carry out its new vision.

MSBDFA, a division of Maryland Department of Commerce, is tasked with helping the growth of all small businesses in the state, especially those run by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. Last year, the agency received $45 million from the state, which has been approved by the U.S. Treasury to administer up to $198 million in federal assistance through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). The agency’s other recent investments have included Pet Connect Marketplace, Precise Telehealth, C2 Contracting Company, Physical & Sports Rehab and Precise Telehealth.

New ‘Guides’ Division

Under the expansion plan, Fearless will be run in two business units – the existing digital division and the new “guides” division. Fearless Digital will continue to design, engineer and deliver digital solutions to solve problems. Fearless Guides will be a people and organization enablement division, focusing on creating conditions to help people and organizations grow.

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Fearless has handed chief operating officer John Foster the additional title of chief impact officer to drive the company’s new vision. Foster will align impact across Fearless’ entities and across industries, domains, and communities.

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“We’re facing some enormous, urgent problems in our society – loss of life, inefficient government, social injustice, lack of quality living. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to use all the tools at our disposal to solve these big problems,” Foster said in a blog post. “We can’t continue to rely on the nonprofit sector to do this. To harness the power of business for good, we have to align impact and profit.”

“Through these goals, we’re embedding impact into our business operations and making it core to what we do and how we work. This kind of commitment to positive action is more important than ever now,” Dzirasa said.