Moving Beyond Philanthropy: How Companies Can Create Equity Through Innovative Ways
Forbes Article Excerpt Author: Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director of Mill Cities Community Investments and Foundation for Business Equity
November 17, 2022
Leaders and funders should look across their organizations and think creatively about leveraging all the tools available to further equity. Our current and growing inequities experienced in our Black and Brown communities demand it.
Currently, when funders are interested in supporting community enterprises, all too often the sole focus is philanthropy. Although funding is extremely important, it is imperative that we explore how to build economic opportunities through multiple different avenues.
But where to begin?
Research shows that Black and Latinx entrepreneurs are less successful in accessing capital to grow their companies, one of the most important ingredients to business success. The Foundation for Business Equity (FBE) helps to address the widening income and wealth gap experienced most acutely by Black and Latinx communities. By focusing on scaling businesses of color, we can create greater wealth for business owners and more jobs with family-sustaining wages in our urban communities.
A new report from diversity, equity and inclusion consultancy Grads of Life surveyed nearly 2,000 diverse workers to understand career and income inequities experienced by Black talent, and highlight how employers can take action to create more equitable career opportunities that lead to higher wages.
FBE partnered with the Boston Foundation and Mill Cities Community Investments, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and several other funders to provide flexible financing and patient capital to business owners that are positioned for growth that historically have been barred from traditional lenders.[i] As a result, this has essentially created an alternative financing ecosystem, resulting in the investment of millions of dollars directly into these entrepreneurs.