Donor Dialogues: Entrepreneurship and Economy

Donor Dialogues: Entrepreneurship and Economy


Very impressive. Progress. Energetic. An opportunity to bring this many voices
and experiences together in the same room for a dialogue is so critical. There’s opportunity to learn from each other. We’re all coming at it from a
place of interest, but now there’s a chance to come at it and share our own
personal experiences, our own personal expertise, and how we can all develop as
ecosystems better. I hadn’t really thought about, you know, working with small, early-stage companies in communities as a way of community development. The idea of helping a whole community – the whole west side, the whole south side, develop economically by helping entrepreneurs, small businesses, get off the ground and
donating money to the organizations that are trying to make that happen especially at the scale that Accion is doing and he said he had 3,500
entrepreneurs that they’re working with? That’s kind of mind-blowing. It is about
building up our local economies in order to close the racial and income wealth gaps among business owners of color and women because, you know, when you have
local small businesses over 50 percent of the dollars get reinvested back into the
local neighborhood economy, thereby lifting up everybody in community prosperity. There are so many great opportunities for – for donors to be involved, either directly through their donor advised funds, or they can support entrepreneurs directly, providing grants for the work that they’re doing. Also by supporting the ecosystem that’s in place to do advisory, and coaching, and
support, and loan capital for the small business owners throughout the city of Chicago but also just to be mentors, to be advisors. There’s the need for capital, but there’s also the need for new access to markets and for expertise
as well. It’s really interesting to see the intersections there and what role everybody can play in actually supporting entrepreneurship in the local economy.

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