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Capital Innovation

A person holds a smartphone in one hand, a credit card in the other. On the table in front of them are financial documents, a cup of coffee, and a laptop computer.

Capital Innovation

In collaboration with key financial institutions and civic organizations, we’re working to understand and address the challenges entrepreneurs of color face when accessing capital. We identify innovative capital models, educate those involved, and deploy supportive grants that help create more equitable access to capital for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Our three-pronged capital strategy includes civic participation, lender and entrepreneur education, and capitalization.

Programs & Initiatives

Educational Opportunities for Lenders and Entrepreneur Support Organizations

By engaging lending institutions and entrepreneur support organizations in closing the racial wealth gap, we’ve identified a handful of key educational initiatives to address bias and systemic racism within the industry. Urban Financial Services Coalition is engaging Kansas City banks in “Inclusive Cultural Competency Training” and working to reduce funding gaps within communities of color. Nationally, Living Cities is partnering with us to support emerging fund managers of color.

A group of entrepreneurs sit around a table

Capital Solutions

Through a series of direct capitalization grants totaling more than $20 million, we seek to broaden access to microloans and alternative loans, grow our partner’s capacity to deploy capital, and distribute more loans to low-moderate income census tracts. Our Kansas City investments include the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, CDFI Loan Fund Capitalization, KC Credit Enhancement Fund, AltCap, and Holy Rosary Credit Union. Our national investment includes DreamSpring and their unique approach to small business microlending.

Two people of color wearing aprons look at a laptop on a table in front of them.

Capital Access Lab

The Capital Access Lab seeks to catalyze new financing mechanisms to serve the wide majority of entrepreneurs who can’t access venture capital or bank loans, increasing capital investment to underserved entrepreneurs who have been historically left behind, including due to their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, and/or geographic location. The Kauffman Foundation committed $3 million to support the Capital Access Lab initiative.

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