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Rebuilding Better RFP

Entrepreneurs are underrepresented in policy debates. Without information about entrepreneurship and new ideas for helping entrepreneurs, policymakers will continue to lack an important perspective. The Rebuilding Better RFP supports activities that engage entrepreneurs in advocacy and educate policymakers of the challenges entrepreneurs face in America, thereby contributing to more supportive environments for entrepreneurs at the local, state, and national levels.

The 2021 Rebuilding Better RFP is made up of three main focus areas:

Jenny Kelly

Bringing entrepreneurs and policymakers together

“It’s important for entrepreneurs to have a voice in policy discussions that affect the communities they live and work in. We’re excited about these projects because these organizations work closely with the entrepreneurs in their communities and understand what it takes to engage entrepreneurs in conversations with policymakers at all levels.”

Jennifer Kelly, Program Officer – Policy, Entrepreneurship

Learn more about the projects being funded this year:

Building Support for America’s New Business Plan

  • Global Detroit | Support for forming a peer network of Global Entrepreneur in Residence programs and participating founders, hosting network events, and producing a collective impact report to educate policymakers.
  • Third Way Foundation (dba Progress Policy Institute) | Support for coordinating federal and local policy to implement entrepreneur-focused economic development by forming a Metro Federalism Caucus, publishing an action agenda, and engaging stakeholders.
  • Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network | Support to make entrepreneurship a priority within economic development in Oregon by training entrepreneurs to advocate and educating policymakers.
  • Rural Community Assistance Partnership | Support for building awareness of public policies that address challenges faced by rural entrepreneurs by developing advocacy curriculum, educating policymakers, and hosting the 2021 RuralRISE Summit, virtually, on September 20-21, 2021.
  • Ventures | Support for building awareness of public policies that address challenges of low-income entrepreneurs by training entrepreneurs to advocate and generating media coverage about the issue.

Addressing Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs of Color

  • Association for Enterprise Opportunity | Support for ensuring equitable, fair, and competitive online markets that support entrepreneurs by conducting analysis, developing policy recommendations, and educating policymakers.
  • The Allapattah Collaborative CDC | Support for building awareness of policies that prevent the displacement of entrepreneurs from gentrifying neighborhoods in Miami, Florida.  
  • California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity | Support for the creation of a white paper on ways to incorporate racial equity into economic development policies and related policymaker education. 
  • Common Future | Support for expanding equitable access to capital by surveying entrepreneurs and lenders, publishing a report, and educating policymakers about the findings.
  • Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon | Support for establishing the Small Business Ambassador program to develop community leaders and inform state and local policymaking in support of underserved entrepreneurs.
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development | Support for building awareness of public policies that address challenges faced by entrepreneurs of color by creating a policy playbook, training entrepreneurs to advocate, and educating policymakers.
  • National Institute of Minority Economic Development | Support for the development of an Equity Advocate certificate program to prepare entrepreneurs to engage and educate policymakers on procurement disparities among entrepreneurs of color.
  • Neighborhood Development Center | Support for expanding access to capital, increasing the availability of technical assistance, and reducing regulatory barriers to grow small and micro-businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color.
  • New Profit Inc. | Support for achieving equity in government contracting for the delivery of workforce development programs and training by creating a learning cohort and policy playbook for educating policymakers.
  • Rural Community Assistance Corporation | Support to equip business owners, primarily from underserved Native communities in New Mexico, with advocacy skills.
  • Urban Manufacturing Alliance | Support for creating more equitable financial systems that support small manufacturers of color by conducting focus groups, publishing policy briefs, and educating policymakers. 
  • USBC Community Economic Development Corporation | Support for increasing equity in small business financing and government contracting for entrepreneurs of color by conducing focus groups and educating policymakers.

Advocating for Kansas and Missouri Entrepreneurs

  • BioSTL | Support to increase support for entrepreneur-focused economic development in Missouri by forming an entrepreneurship leadership council, executing a public awareness campaign, and training entrepreneurs to advocate.  
  • Enterprise Center in Johnson County | Support for making entrepreneurship a priority within economic development in Kansas by developing resources for policymakers and hosting educational events.
  • Right to Start | Support to make entrepreneurship a priority within economic development in Kansas and Missouri by recruiting volunteers, educating policymakers, and executing a public awareness campaign.
  • Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet | Support to equip business owners, primarily from underserved communities in Kansas and Missouri, with advocacy skills.