“Neighborhood businesses are critical to Detroit’s comeback, but many need access to the right capital to grow and thrive,â€ said Janis Bowdler, Head of Community Development for Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund is a unique approach that combines flexible financing and services to strengthen continued business growth in Detroit’s neighborhoods.â€
“The Kellogg Foundation is not new to the idea of creating access to capital for people of color,â€ said La June Montgomery Tabron, WKKF’s President and CEO. “We know that investment in people of color is essential for equitable and effective urban development and this nation’s sustained economic dominance. We are proud partners with Detroit Development Fund, JPMorgan Chase and others who will join us to improve the economic opportunities for entrepreneurs, who are also parents, to better support their families and ensure success for Detroit’s kids.â€
Funding will allow the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to provide loans and technical assistance and establish a loan loss reserve. The reserve will allow DDF to expand its lending criteria and help Detroit small businesses that traditionally did not qualify for a loan.
Michael Barr’s recent research, Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Network, and Skills,Â published by the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution, calls for greater support for minority-owned and female-owned small businesses. “Minority-owned businesses, including those in Detroit, often lack access to credit, to essential skills needed to survive and grow, and to business networks for mentoring and new business opportunities,â€ stated Michael S. Barr, professor of law at the University of Michigan. “Increasing business formation by minority and female entrepreneurs is critical to improving the rate of entrepreneurship for the country as a whole, and generating new growth and jobs.â€