CO.STARTERS is in a unique position, supporting starters with tools for launching, supporting grassroots leaders all over the country and around the world with curated resources and tools to build better community support systems for starters, and collaborating with national partners to encourage ecosystem building.
Here are a few new resources from some of our national partners that have been released recently.
The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are collaborating to release a series of playbooks to provide resources for the growth of specific communities and demographics of entrepreneurs. The first playbook, Elevating Women in Entrepreneurship, is a 78-page guide that covers community outreach techniques, how to develop a female-supportive network, solutions for work-life balance, how to fix the pipeline to encourage more women investors, and more. The aim of the playbook is to provide strategies for engagement, launching and scaling that can be implemented immediately to support women entrepreneurs.
Elevating Women in Entrepreneurship is a great resource for CO.STARTERS member organizations to create deeper and more effective engagement with women entrepreneurs. In the next few months, watch for the other two playbooks on emerging urban neighborhood-built communities and minority entrepreneurship.
Download Elevating Women in Entrepreneurship here.
At least 83 percent of entrepreneurs do not have access to the capital they need to grow their businesses through bank loans or venture capital. Almost 65 percent use personal and family savings as startup capital, and almost 10 percent carry balances on personal credit cards.
“We see this pattern in the CO.STARTERS community as well,” said Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS Founder. “There is a big gap in the middle, between small-scale personal lending and venture capital. We are looking for ways to help grassroots leaders provide more capital access for their starters.”
This five-page document from the Kauffman Foundation is excerpted from a forthcoming report exploring the current capital landscape across the nation and identifying barriers faced by underserved entrepreneurs. It’s part of the Capital Access Lab, a national initiative from the Kauffman Foundation to break down barriers and increase access to capital for “the makers, doers, and dreamers who want to deliver services, create a profit, or solve a problem.”
The State of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs surveys what is known about the problem, historic efforts to help entrepreneurs gain access to capital, and emerging solutions.
To read about the Capital Access Lab initiative, submit your own idea, and download a copy of The State of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, click here.
Main Street America recently published its annual State of Main report, which included this excellent article about building inclusivity into entrepreneurial ecosystems.
“Inclusivity is not just about listening and then creating programs for inclusion in your ecosystem. It is also about allowing representatives from the groups you are working with a seat at the table in decision making, program design, and strategy,” according to the article. “Economies grow best when everyone has an opportunity to be productive and create wealth—this can only be done if everyone is involved from the start.”
“Main Street USA is doing a lot of interesting things,” said Enoch Elwell. “CO.STARTERS participated and presented at their Main Street Now conference in March in Seattle. If you couldn’t attend, check out Main Street’s social media feeds to catch up on what happened there.”
To download The Importance of Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystems or the entire State of Main 2019 report, click here.
CO.STARTERS is partnering with McClure Placemaking, which itself is one of several partners in the Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) initiative, organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help rural communities create economic development plans. Rural communities of less than 50,000 are eligible to apply for technical assistance and be guided thorough a planning process to create a full economic development plan to improve the quality of life for current and future residents.
“McClure Placemaking has an incredible model that helps rural communities create a plan and follow through on it,” said Enoch Elwell. “CO.STARTERS is thrilled to be partnering with McClure to help rural communities, which have unique challenges and opportunities.”
The REDI application can be found here.
Learn about McClure Placemaking here.