Kauffman Foundation invites proposals to test new ventures, scale up programs for women, minorities

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 336 views 

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is now seeking proposals to reduce barriers for startups and entrepreneurs “who have been systemically left behind.” The application period for the 2019 Inclusion Open began on Jan. 23 and ends on Feb. 7.

“While entrepreneurship in the United States has been on a 40-year decline, we see opportunities to spur new business creation in local economies by funding quality entrepreneurship support programs to all entrepreneurs,” a Kauffman Foundation news release stated.

According to the Kauffman Foundation, the goal of the new program is to find uncommon solutions that accelerate the rate of business starts and growth in all communities. The foundation, which has supported Little Rock’s 1 Million Cups program and other entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas, is seeking proposals from nonprofit and for-profit organizations that can either test new ideas or scale already-proven programs to remove barriers that make starting and growing a business more difficult.

According to Kauffman officials, organizations working to provide quality entrepreneurial support programs that reduce or eliminate barriers to entrepreneurial startups and company growth for communities that have been systemically left behind are welcome to apply. Kauffman also notes that these applicants are critical to reversing the decline reflected in the following data:

  • According to the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, women own approximately 20% of all employer businesses. This stands in contrast to women comprising 50.8% of the U.S. population.
  • According to the 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, racial minorities own 18.8% of employer-owned businesses. While African-Americans own 2.2% of employer-owned businesses, they comprise 13.4 % of the overall population.
  • Native Americans own 0.5% of employer-owned businesses but comprise 1.3% of the overall population.
  • For Asian-Americans, the disparity is 9.9%, compared to 5.8%.
  • Hispanic-Americans (regardless of race) own 6%, compared to representing 18.1% of the population.
  • The rate of self-employment in rural areas has fallen by 20% between 1988-2016, more than double the overall decline in self-employment.

To apply or learn more about the Kauffman 2019 Inclusion Open, click here.