Black Innovation Alliance and Village Capital today announced Resource, a national initiative aimed at strengthening the efforts of Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) led and focused on color founders.
The motivation behind the project is straightforward. ESOs “are facing record demand, resources are depleted and are chronically underestimated, underestimated and underfunded,” say the organizations.
The resource aims to provide training and community support to local accelerators and incubators.
Resource’s ESO Accelerator will train startup ecosystem executives on how to build a more financially sustainable organization and connect them with potential donors. It will also provide milestone-based financial assistance related to organizational development.
Resource also plans to develop a national community of practice among ESO Color Leaders and their funders to share best practices and develop “stronger capital and mentor paths” for Black, Latin American and Indigenous founders in the US
Village Capital, says CEO Allie Burns, supports and invests in entrepreneurs “who have in the past sat in historical investor blind spots, be it because of the problems they are trying to solve, the geographic location they are in, or the demographic factors that we have seen capital focus on very few people, places, and problems. “Village Capital has worked with more than 100 other ESOs in the past five years to develop businesses with founders from all walks of life.
Resource’s goal is to ensure that incubators and accelerators focused on helping people of color have the resources they need to thrive, she added.
“We want to make sure these accelerators and other ESOs have the financial, social and human capital to keep their doors open and grow,” said Burns.
Kelly Burton, executive director of the Black Innovation Alliance, points out that these black-led organizations are often the first line of support for black entrepreneurs, but get little benefit from their success over time.
“They get very little support and very little money,” she said. “It’s almost like they’re doing all the heavy lifting, planting seeds, and doing all the growing, but they can’t really benefit when this founder and startup are really up and running. This is an opportunity for us to stabilize these organizations to help them build their own capacities and capabilities so that this organization can be sustainable. “
The resource is backed by a national coalition of donors who are committed to helping paint entrepreneurs. The first coalition includes Moody’s, the Sorenson Impact Foundation, Travelers and UBS.
In similar news, we reported Tuesday on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s proposal for a $ 10 million state budget allocation to create a seed capital fund for Black and Latinx startups.
In this article, we noticed that there are a number of organizations out there who are committed to funding various founders.
In February, several national and Chicago-based organizations joined forces to support young black and Latinx tech entrepreneurs through a new program called TechRise. The nonprofit P33 launched the program in partnership with Verizon and in 1871, a private incubator and technology center, with the goal of “closing the Chicago wealth gap, creating thousands of technology jobs and providing $ 5 million in grants black and Latin American entrepreneurs, ”according to the Chicago Sun Times. (Disclosure: Verizon is the parent company of TechCrunch).
Also based in Austin, DivInc is a nonprofit pre-accelerator offering 12-week programs for underrepresented tech founders. Founded in 2016 by former Dell executive Preston James, the organization aims to “empower people of color and women entrepreneurs and help them build successful high-growth businesses by giving them access to education, mentoring and key networking.”