Immediate Actions to Support Businesses and Startups Led by People of Color
March 31, 2020
Building an Inclusive Economic Recovery: Economic, business and non-profit leaders met for a virtual NGIN Roundtable Discussion to talk about inclusive economic recovery, specifically, how do we ensure that diverse entrepreneurs – people of color and women – have the support and resources they need to survive this economic shock and thrive in the post-COVID-19 economy. Some highlights of our discussion:
- How do we get the life boats out ASAP? We need solutions for recovery and resilience, which ensure diverse entrepreneurs find capital and technical assistance to survive these immediate weeks of uncertainty AND the 3 to 6 months pivot to rebuild and get back to revenue.
- Will the Federal CARES Act provide support to entrepreneurs of color and women? It is estimated that less than 10% of available capital goes to small businesses and start-ups run by women or people of color. The new $359 bn is definitely going to be a great resource for those companies with strong banking relationships…but many companies will not qualify. Community orgs and economic development orgs have a role to play to identify high potential entrepreneurs who will not be served by the federal response and find alternative solutions for them ASAP. Tech Town stabilization fund for small businesses rolled out in Detroit was cited as a good example.
- Is entrepreneurship still a pathway to prosperity for people of color and women? Yes, even in a post-COVID 19 economy. But we have to look at the “next economy opportunities” and create the strategies for entrepreneurs of color and women to get into high growth sectors. “I am anxiously waiting for the moment that we are not talking about recovery and resilience but talking about growth.”
- Who is going to make our economic recovery inclusive? There has been a groundswell of efforts over the recent past to make economies work for all, but that momentum is now at risk! It is going to come down to a lot of us in business, finance, government, etc. being super intentional, holding folks to account, and having a super loud voice!