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Inclusive Ecosystems RFP

This portfolio of research grants prioritizes the perspectives of community members, engages researchers and communities in conversation and collaboration, and examines how structural issues shape equity and opportunity in entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Why Inclusive Ecosystems?

The Inclusive Ecosystems Request for Proposal (RFP) brings focus to a less-studied area of research: the impact of systemic forces on entrepreneurial ecosystems. The RFP urges researchers to engage with communities in conversation around geographic inequality, structural racism, and questions of overall community wellness, exploring the impacts these systemic contexts have on entrepreneurial outcomes. By asking researchers to engage community leaders and entrepreneurs throughout the Heartland as thought partners, this RFP keeps the needs of the community front and center, uplifting community expertise.

Each community-engaged project team – consisting of researchers and Heartland community partner organizations – will develop research-driven case studies, work with Kauffman Foundation staff to develop templates and tools for assessing equity in ecosystems, and ultimately provide practical, actionable insights for individuals and community leaders working to promote inclusivity in entrepreneurial ecosystems.

The Inclusive Ecosystems RFP closed April 29. Stay tuned to meet the 2022 grantees.

Prioritizing community voice

Chhaya Kolavalli

We look forward to seeing where research can help provide additional support and exposure to the innovative work ecosystem builders are already leading in Heartland communities. By prioritizing community voice and perspective, these projects will ultimately continue to embed equity into the foundation of the research we support.

Chhaya Kolavalli, Senior Program Officer, Entrepreneurship