Small business is experiencing a vanguard moment in its role to build wealth and close the racial and gender wealth gaps. CDFIs are gaining recognition as a tool to effectively support America’s small businesses and address access to capital and technical assistance for entrepreneurs of color. Many advocates rightly called on the federal government to include specific funding for CDFIs in its second pandemic response package. And, a number of funds as well as policies are poised to increase CDFI investments to address inadequacies and inequities in the small business ecosystem and help Main Street thrive. On March 10, 2022, Greater New York Asset Funders Network focused on building capacity for CDFIs.

On March 29, Policies that Support a Thriving Small Business Ecosystem, followed up that conversation by examining the federal, state, and local policies that can help CDFIs build capacity, increase and ease investments, and support entrepreneurs of color to thrive. Together we will explored:

  • What supporting policies and practices will help to build the small business ecosystem for people of color?
  • How do national, state, and municipal policies and practices interconnect to create a supportive small business ecosystem?
  • What is the best way for philanthropy to support and align with policies that support small business?
  • Aside from CDFIs, what other types of financial underwriting are focused on support for entrepreneurs of color?
  • How can philanthropy best support this work?

Moderator: Kristen Scheyder, Citi Foundation
Nancy Carin, BOC Capital Corp.
Beth Bafford, Calvert Impact Capital
Mark Herbert, Small Business Majority
Hope Knight, Empire State Development Corp
Read their bios