LISC Institute

Spotlight

Spotlight on Entrepreneurs of Color

Business ownership can play an essential role in stabilizing communities by funneling dollars into neighborhoods, and supporting strong economic ecosystems. Unfortunately, communities of color can have a disproportionately difficult task advancing entrepreneurial endeavors when compared to their white counterparts because of systematic obstacles to securing financing, real estate and government contracts among other things. In response, Community Development Financial Institutions are developing new programs and tailoring their lending practices to support entrepreneurs of color in the communities they serve. Community development organizations can be vital partners in supporting entrepreneurship because they understand how to leverage other community resources like incubator programs and workforce services. 

In fact, these types of programs for new entrepreneurs of color are on the rise across the country. In this month’s Spotlight on Entrepreneurs of Color we’ve highlighted some of these programs to inform practitioners trying to develop similar initiatives for their communities. We've also included research showcasing some of the difficulties entrepreneurs of color face to ensure practitioners can make well-informed decisions when customizing their lending practices, tailoring their programming and developing local community-based partnerships to bridge the gap entrepreneurs of color face.   

Read the Letter from the Editor for additional background and an overview of what this month's Spotlight covers. 

Letter from the Editor

 

 

In Practice

The LISC Institute spoke to the LISC Chicago and LISC Boston teams to learn more about the unique roles that CDFIs play in supporting minority entrepreneurs, and helping them overcome roadblocks in establishing businesses.

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This report from LISC LA and the Milken Institute’s (PLUM) Working Group outlines strategies and best practices to support a more inclusive local procurement environment in the city and county of LA.

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In this brief, the Urban Institute uses American Community Survey data to explore how self-employed households have fared compared with salaried households in terms of income, mortgage use, and homeownership rate.

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This report from OFN presents recent data indicating that communities of color may be less constrained by levels of wealth, education, and discrimination because of shifting trends.

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The following white paper from DIFFvelopment presents data to support the organization's mission of “Re-empowering people of African descent one student at a time,” through culturally relevant entrepreneurship and how it can diversify the nation's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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This report identifies the strategies needed to help entrepreneurs of color, including those in high-growth sectors and in inner cities, overcome challenges resulting from structural biases.

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What we're reading

This article from Shelterforce explores how a lack of access to capital, capacity-building resources, and technical assistance significantly constrains the ability of CDFIs led by people of color.

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This article from Annie E. Casey Foundation's Lisa M. Hamilton speaks to the role of philanthropy and CDFIs in supporting and strengthening small business owners to help increase economic opportunity in communities of color.

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Along with two other panelists serving African-American and Hispanic communities, Mowrer shared her reflections on the heightened difficulties facing the entrepreneurs of color with whom she works.

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Read this article from Nonprofit Quarterly to learn how nonprofits and foundations are filling the credit gap for entrepreneurs of color.

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