In the U.S., small businesses have created seven out of 10 new jobs since the 1970s. Yet despite some recent progress, bias, multi-generational poverty, poor infrastructure, social isolation and demographic shifts still stifle small-business development, particularly among minorities and women.
That costs the U.S. economy roughly 9.5 million jobs, according to the Kauffman Foundation. The foundation’s “Inclusion Open” program will fund non-profit and for-profit organizations that provide training, capital and mentorship to underrepresented business owners.
“These could be entrepreneurs who have faced barriers related to their gender, race, age, geography, disability or sexual orientation or their status as veterans or displaced workers,” said Philip Gaskin, director of Entrepreneurial Communities at the foundation.
Organizations can apply for between $50,000 and $500,000 in grant funds through May 2.