The Mobilization Fund Study: First Year of Capital Access in New Orleans

The Mobilization Fund Study: First Year of Capital Access in New Orleans

Read our one-year outcomes on the Mobilization Fund, a $1.54 million pilot fund to increase capital access to DBE contractors.

The Mobilization Fund helps Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) overcome barriers with financial security used to support public contracting and to successfully deliver on contracts in New Orleans. In the short term, the objective of the $1.54 million pilot fund is to increase capital access to DBE contractors, supporting their current financial health and capacity. In the long term, the fund is intended to strengthen disadvantaged businesses’ ability to bid and deliver on a pipeline of public contracts, access roles as prime contractors, and over time, build wealth among those business owners and their employees.

Beginning in late 2016, the fund is structured as a public-private partnership (PPP) between Living Cities, the City of New Orleans, and NewCorp Inc, a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The fund builds on NewCorp’s long history of community lending to test ways to increase DBEs’ access to capital.

This public report contains the findings of RTI International’s interviews with fund recipients and the fund’s PPP partners and stakeholders to characterize initial outcomes. Those results range from improved financial outlooks for DBEs and the ability to deliver on their current public contract to reduced personal stress and increased business finance savvy. Findings are described in terms of:

  • financial outcomes
  • contract delivery outcomes
  • business ownership outcomes
  • loan process and management outcomes
  • fund partners’ outcomes

This assessment revealed important lessons learned for replicated or scaled funds in the future, including aspects of the pilot fund that worked well and areas of opportunity.

Primarily, the lessons apply to the fund design itself and the environment in which it operates. Overall, these findings highlight the early successes created by the existing PPP and demonstrate the importance of continued collective action across the public, private, and social sectors.


Latest Articles

Supporting and Growing Overlooked Entrepreneurs with Urban Innovation Fund

In 2012, Julie Lein and Clara Brenner started Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. Through their experience with Tumml, Julie and Clara saw how investors can overlook certain types of entrepreneurs, mostly women and people of color. Building on their experience, Lein and Brenner founded Urban Innovation Fund (UIF) as first-time …

1863 Ventures Seeks to Close the ‘Friends and Family’ Financing Gap for New Majority Entrepreneurs

Melissa Bradley understands how barriers to capital for entrepreneurs of color hurt our economy and our communities. “There is clearly a cost if we do not invest in diversity,” said Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures. “We miss out on great returns when we are not inclusive in our investment theses. There are opportunity costs for all of us.” She cites …

A Vision for Systemic Change in the Twin Cities: An Interview with Marcus Pope

JK:We’re celebrating your new role as President of Youthprise! Can you tell us a bit about Youthprise? MP: I’ll start by sharing Youthprise’s mission, which is to increase equity with and for Minnesota’s Indigenous, low income, and racially diverse youth. We take the “with and for” very seriously; half of our board members are young people between the ages of …

The Legacy of Wealth Inequities in the Brown and Flynn Families: A Hypothetical Exploration

The first post in a two-part series explores the potential of capital to undo the historical legacy of inequities. Race is a complex issue that continues to drive many of the socioeconomic outcomes in the US. For example, if you are a person of color born in the United States, your zip code is more of a predictor of your …

Get Updates

We want to stay in touch with you! Sign up for our email list to receive updates on the progress we’re making with our network of partners, as well as helpful resources and blog posts.