Take a quick glance at the local headlines and you’ll see that our region has been booming economically, with incredible growth all over the area. However, despite that economic boost, significant segments of the population remain in depressed conditions.
Small family businesses make up over 90% of the U.S. economy, and since the 2008 recession they’ve been responsible for most of the U.S. job growth. They’re often owned by ordinary people offering simple solutions to everyday problems.
And yet mainstream business resources tend to focus on already established, bankable businesses or on highly scalable new ventures with high returns. If you are an entrepreneur, but you are low-income and under-resourced, the mainstream would likely consider you to be too inexperienced and your business to be too small, too risky, and not sufficiently scalable.
We know that business ownership increases median income by 24% and, with the right support, 81% of people in poverty starting a business will move out of poverty. As important, these same business owners develop agency, become vested stakeholders in the community, and become community leaders.
Supporting the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship builds community wealth. Since our launch in 2013, CIE has contributed to the journeys of over 800 low-income emerging entrepreneurs; 350 have completed our signature First Step training program, 150 have received intensive one-on-one business coaching, and 75 have started, strengthened, or expanded a business.
Thanks to the hard work of our participants, every dollar invested in CIE produces $10 social return on investment annually, often year after year.
Please support our work with a donation today!