Entrepreneurs of Color Business Support

Picture (left to right): Joseph Malual, Mia Ljung, Angie Allen, Tessa Conroy, Diana Hammer, Sarah Schlosser, Kristin Runge. Other team members are not pictured.

Nationally, racially and ethnically minoritized people and immigrants start new businesses at higher rates than non-Hispanic, white people despite the fact that these same minoritized entrepreneurs face a wide range of challenges (e.g., barriers in accessing information, technical support such as business planning, and financial resources necessary for business startup and growth). Many factors affect the ability of racially and ethnically minoritized entrepreneurs to interact with and use services offered by public and private organizations such as economic development corporations and financial institutions. These economic development organizations often fall short of recognizing and reaching out to entrepreneurs of color, which results in alienation, disconnecting them from available services in their communities.

The Entrepreneurs of Color Support Team was formed in 2019 with the mission of supporting wealth creation through entrepreneurship within communities of color. We focus on expanding knowledge of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) business ownership, developing educational programs, and working with communities, organizations, and individuals with a shared mission. We welcome new partners, opportunities to share our work, as well as opportunities to learn more about ourselves.

If you are an entrepreneur, consider reaching out to us for…

  • Networking: We’d like to know you, what your priorities are, and how to best support you in your goals. We may be able to introduce you to additional stakeholders and contacts in your local area.
  • Technical Assistance: If you aren’t already working with economic development professionals, we can connect you with people in your area who could have information, funding, and relationships you may need.
  • Info About Dead Ends: We are working to understand barriers to BIPOC entrepreneurship in the state and overcome them with you. Let us know what your experience is.
  • Participation in Research Efforts: Join us as we seek to better understand and convey the state of BIPOC entrepreneurship to decision-makers, funders, and technical experts.
  • No Cost to Contact or Work with Us: Our educational services are provided to entrepreneurs at no cost.

If you are an Economic Development Organization, consider contacting us for…

  • Professional Development: We can assist your organization with how to work more effectively with BIPOC entrepreneurs in your area including examining relevant data about BIPOC business ownership, barriers in your area, and processes for engaging more stakeholders in your local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Collaboration: We work with many local, regional, and state community and economic development organizations and funders in Wisconsin. Reach out to us to find out how we can work together.

In Our Words: Black Entrepreneurs Speak Wisconsin

In Our Words is a weekly podcast exploring in-depth conversations with Wisconsin black business owners. Our goal is to provide a more holistic understanding of the African American entrepreneur in the state of Wisconsin by seeking to understand challenges faced and overcome by black business owners.

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