In A State Where Entrepreneurship Lags
The number of business consultations that has been offered to aspiring entrepreneurs has more than doubled in the past year, from 176 consultations in 2019, to 379 in 2020, according to Indianapolis’ Office of Minority and Women Business Development (OMWBD)
Business owners from historically marginalized backgrounds can apply to be certified through the OMWBD, which in turn allows them to compete for city contracts and become part of a statewide database of minority-owned businesses.
Encouraging entrepreneurship in diverse communities is really a way of helping our community be stronger, and helping individuals really just leave a legacy for their families.
People of color represent 26.2 percent of the population in Indianapolis but there is only 8.9 percent of business owners with employees.
In a state like Indiana, an increased interest in entrepreneurship among communities of color is especially significant which has historically lagged in that category. According to data from the Brookings Institution, while minorities make up 22 percent of the state’s overall population, minority small-business owners constitute just 16 percent of Indiana businesses.
Just like the Office of Minority and Women Business Development, the Indy Chamber’s CDFI saw a jump during the pandemic in the number of people of color seeking support for business ventures during the pandemic. Thanks in part to new sources of federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program, the CDFI rapidly scaled up the loans it’s offering — from a typical 12 a year, to 1,800 since March 2020.
Over half of those loans went to minority and women businesses.