One of the great clichés of American life is that entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. There are indeed millions of entrepreneurs that shape nearly every facet of our lives. And yet, for people of color who live in our poorest urban communities, entrepreneurship usually seems to be something that happens elsewhere and for someone else. But, in fact, entrepreneurs are hard at work even in the poorest communities, usually operating tiny “mom-and-pop” groceries or working freelance at a mixture of jobs and occupations. And, while these entrepreneurs are critical to the functioning of neighborhoods, unless we find ways to unlock the potential of higher performing—and job creating—entrepreneurs, especially business leaders who are women and people of color, we risk continuing the legacy of the last generation of economic development efforts that have done little to change the trajectory of America’s poorest urban communities.
This blog post is part of the Living Cities series “Closing the Racial Gaps: Together We Can,” which highlights efforts across the United States that show promise for closing racial opportunity gaps and creating a more equitable future.
Read the full blog here.