Leveraging Philanthropy to Build a Responsive Small Business Ecosystem
Like many inequities exposed by the pandemic, small businesses owned by people of color have struggled and failed at far higher rates than those of their white peers during the last 12 months. They often started out with less cushion, and they were blocked at every turn from getting fair access to government and other relief. These injustices and imbalances were not new, but they were harder to ignore, and the consequences more dire. The only silver lining was that the crisis turned a light on the long-standing gaps, hurdles, and prejudices faced by underserved entrepreneurs in an economy that is rigged against them. And with this light shining, more and more philanthropists, foundations, and corporations took notice and added small business support to their giving portfolio during 2020. The next problem was that many did know what that meant, how to execute, or how to avoid repeating or reinforcing institutional biases. In one telling statistic, while more than 300 corporations pledging $66B in support of communities of color last year, only $250M has been deployed from 70 companies.
After JP Morgan Chase funded a (pre-pandemic) study about the needs of entrepreneurs of color in late 2019, a small group of funders have now expressed interest in exploring solutions. Further informed by the crucible of COVID-19, we welcome you to join this discussion to set an agenda for learning, advocacy, and resource deployment as we identify how we can work together as an emerging funder collective to support NYC Small Business.
Please Join Next Street, Philanthropy New York and Asset Funders Network at 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 on June 15th, 2021 as we explore how to support the small business ecosystem in the Greater New York region.
Please come ready to share and discuss:
- Current investments that support small businesses owned by women and people of color
- Key learnings and strategies from our evolving strategies
- Data, data and data. With limited data informing us about the needs of entrepreneurs of color, how are we informing our data-driven investments?
- How do we align to engage and strengthen our support of small business recovery? How can collaboration and coordination among funders add value to our work?
- How are we leveraging the moment – increased public and private investments — to maximize systemic change?
This will be an invitation-only event. Please contact SarahRidgeway@assetfunders.org with any questions.