#WealthInColor: Navigating the Bay Area’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

#WealthInColor: Navigating the Bay Area’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

In 2018, Living Cities, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Surdna Foundation embarked on Start Up, Stay Up, Scale Up [SU(3)], a three-city initiative designed to address gaps in the entrepreneurial ecosystems of San Francisco, New Orleans and Albuquerque for high-growth founders of color.

The goal of this project was to ensure that entrepreneurs of color, particularly those who are poised to scale, could access the capital and community resources they need to grow their enterprises – resources that technical assistance providers, capital providers, anchor institutions and others have often denied to them.

In the Bay Area, the immense wealth and ample resources present in the ecosystem have not resulted in better access or outcomes for people of color, especially Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs of color in the region sit completely outside the white-dominated ecosystem, as shown in the interactive graphic, and cannot tap the capital and connections they need to succeed. They are essentially on the outside of a network driven by existing wealth and close relationships established in local universities and incubators, which they also may be locked out of.

To better understand these challenges, Living Cities worked with TD Lowe at 42Phi Ventures in San Jose, as well as SU(3) cohort lead and venture capitalist Monique Woodard, to map the players and resources present in the Bay Area ecosystem. With their expertise, we’re able to show the issues inherent in the system across different types of support as well as the potential solutions. It’s important to note, however, that none of these solutions will work without dismantling the institutional racism inherent in service organizations and local governments. That starts with reflection by individuals and examination of biases present in the system. We hope that this graphic can start those reflections and necessary conversations.

After clicking through the various support structures, reading about the challenges for entrepreneurs of color, and considering how you can help implement proposed solutions, we recommend checking out our SU(3) Medium publication to read more about what Bay Area players are doing to address these issues.

Having a problem viewing the infographic? Open in a new window

Latest Articles

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 …

Living Cities Selected to the ImpactAssets 50 for 11th Year in a Row

Living Cities’ Capital for the New Majority team is thrilled to announce that Living Cities and the Catalyst Family of Funds have been selected to the ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) for the eleventh consecutive year and named as an Emeritus Impact Manager for the second time. “Now in its eleventh year, the ImpactAssets 50™ is the most recognized free database of …

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.