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Small Business Entrepreneur Programs for Undocumented Residents

Two examples of small business entrepreneur programs for undocumented residents include Immigrants Rising’s Entrepreneurship Fund and Ventures’ Business Basics Course. The Entrepreneurship Fund gives grants to undocumented entrepreneurs. Conversely, the Business Basics Course offers undocumented immigrants entrepreneurship training and access to microloans upon completion.

1. IMMIGRANTS RISING’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP FUND

  • The Entrepreneurship Fund offers grants to undocumented entrepreneurs who strive to have a positive social impact.
  • The Fund highlights the talents of undocumented youth and the impact they have on their communities.
  • The program received 216 proposals from 247 undocumented immigrants in 2019. As it stands, the Fund is currently supporting six entrepreneurship projects.
  • The criteria for selecting the winning projects include social impact and innovation.
  • The entrepreneurs come from industries, such as education, sustainable farming, film, e-commerce, music, and technology.
  • Entrepreneurs who win are given grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000. Winners are also mentored and coached to ensure that their projects are a success.
  • The program is supported by Chaves Family Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy, and The Grove Foundation. Other supporters include Jorge Ramos and James Gutierrez.

2. VENTURES BUSINESS BASICS COURSE

  • The Business Basics Course is a program by Ventures.
  • Ventures is a nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering entrepreneurs that have potential.
  • The organization offers the Business Basics Course to undocumented immigrants.
  • The course takes eight weeks to complete.
  • The course covers the basics of financial management, operations, marketing, and sales.
  • Students are given the opportunity to network with a community of entrepreneurs.
  • Those who graduate from the course are given access to microloans, coaching, and incubators.
  • One has to go through an interview and orientation before enrolling in the course. In addition, applicants must be 18 years and older.

Business Incubators and Accelerators – Back Office Operations and Capital

Circular Board and The Refinery are accelerators that offer back-office operations and capital for businesses. The accelerators are mainly focused on female and minority businesses.

Circular Board

  • Circular Board is a collaborative accelerator for growth-oriented female entrepreneurs who lead, or plan to build, a successful business. Circular Board accepts a group of women entrepreneurs to join the virtual accelerator three times per year for a 3-month program that supports women-led businesses by providing access to capital, top-tier mentorship, peer advisory and strategic consulting.
  • Circular Board establishes strategic partnerships, back-office operations, and provides capital funding to build a foundation for growth. Women who have innovative ideas that scales and are personally committed to the growth are accepted into the program. There is a strong focus on minorities as well.
  • They have brought together a curated group of mentors and investors who believe in the leadership potential of women. The participants of the program will be supported through the alumni circles, rotating peer advisory boards who commit to the success of the new businesses, and hold participants accountable to achieve their vision.
  • Each founder joins a group of ten women that serves as the personal advisory board throughout the accelerator. Participants also gain access to industry-leading mentors, virtual events, growth blueprints, startup investors and partner perks.

The Refinery

  • The Refinery is an accelerator that assists female entrepreneurs to make their businesses successful and bring in investment opportunities. It provides capital funding, back-office services, and mentorship. The Refinery has raised more than $26 million in funds and more than 250 women-led companies have been supported through their program.
  • The program helps participants to understand and articulate business value to customers, partners and investors. It also helps to refine the business model, develop a financial outlook.
  • The program contains weekly problem-solving workshops led by experts, one on one weekly mentor meetings and participation in Refinery alumni events and pitch competitions
  • It provides connections to more than 80 mentors and investors and emphasizes on key tracks such as leadership, raising capital, the pitch, sales & marketing.

Success Rates of Small Businesses – Technical Assistance Versus No Technical Assistance

Small businesses that receive technical assistance are more likely to report more profits, better management strategies, and longer survival rates than those that grow organically. There was not information regarding the success rates of small businesses with no technical assistance, but the information regarding successes with technical assistance is provided below.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Small Business Administration administers programs to support small business as research has shown that startups play an important role in job creation, and most small business owners that have participated in these programs report that the programs were useful, however cost-effectiveness of the programs was not able to be determined due to data limitations.
  • The SBA originally provided this management and technical assistance programs but now rely increasingly on third parties, and now more than 1.2 million entrepreneurs and small business owners, and they argue the success of this support to have contributed to the long-term success of the business and their ability to grow and add more jobs.
  • Survey data indicates that these programs assist small businesses at all stages of development, was useful to participants and actually resulted in them changing management practices or strategies. 30% of SBDC startup clients, 24% of SCORE startup clients and 31% of WBC startup clients either agreed or strongly agreed that these programs had a positive effect on their profit margin.
  • Mentoring is considered by some to be the missing link to small business growth and survival, and small businesses that receive mentorship achieve higher revenues and increased business growth and 70% survived longer than 5 years (more than double for non-mentored businesses), and 88% of business owners said having a mentor was invaluable.

Micro Businesses in the Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Area

There were 25,806 micro-businesses (0-4 employees) in the Third Quarter of 2018 in the Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Area. However, the number of micro-businesses in the Fresno metropolitan statistical area with neighborhood breakdown, ethnicity, and race is not available.

MICRO BUSINESSES IN THE FRESNO METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA

  • In 2018, there were 25,806 micro-businesses (0-4 employees) and 3,462 businesses (5-9 employees) in the Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
  • About 32,434 employees are working in businesses with 0-4 employees.
  • The Fresno MSA saw job growth of 2.6% in 2017 and is ranked 22 in job growth in the US.

NUMBER OF MICRO-BUSINESSES(0-4 EMPLOYEES) BY INDUSTRY

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting: 791.
  • Utilities: 11.
  • Construction and Mining: 908.
  • Manufacturing: 210.
  • Wholesale Trade: 388.
  • Retail Trade: 975.
  • Transportation and Warehousing: 420.
  • Information: 64.
  • Finance And Insurance: 537.
  • Real Estate & Rental And Leasing: 567.
  • Services: 20,935.

RACE AND ETHNICITY IN FRENO METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA

  • As of July 2018, the estimated population of the Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 994,400.
  • The Fresno Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is predominantly White. As of 2018, there were 762,683 White residents.
  • Additionally, living in the Fresno MSA, there were 57,839 Black/African American, 29,536 Indigenous, 109,851 Asian, 2,739 Pacific Islander residents. Finally, there were 31,752 who identify as belonging to 2 or more races.
  • About 53.5% were from Hispanic or Latino backgrounds and 46.5% from another ethnic group.

Business Funds Deployed Successfully – Minority and Women Owned Businesses

Wells Fargo’s donation of $7.9 million to help small businesses grow, JPMorgan Chase expanding Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Chicago’s South and West Sides, JPMorgan Chase expanding Ascend 2020 with Northwestern University and the University of Chicago for the minorities, and JPMorgan’s small business investments in Chicago in 2017 are some examples of where a small, minority, and women-owned business fund has been deployed successfully.

BUSINESS FUND #1: WELLS FARGO’S $7.9 MILLION DONATION TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS FUND

  • To boost and diverse small businesses, Wells Fargo donated $7.9 million in grants from its Diverse Community Capital program.
  • The program offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
  • To date, the program has generated more than 103,000 jobs across the U.S.
  • Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program supports all small business owners who are African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Pacific Islander, Asian-American, women, veterans, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
  • Wells Fargo also has plans to invest more than $175 million to help diverse small businesses grow through 2020.
  • The grant funding provides for more than 322,000 hours of development services to over 49,000 diverse entrepreneurs.

SUCCESSFUL DEPLOYMENT

The fund was successfully deployed through the following businesses:

  • $300,000 to Accion in Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties, California, to expand access to capital for Hispanic and African-American small business owners.
  • $500,000 to the African Development Center, Minneapolis, to expand loans and entrepreneurial training to more African immigrants and refugees in a new location in St. Cloud.
  • $500,000 to BBIF, Orlando, Florida, to create a Construction Assistance Incubator Center that propels minority entrepreneurs in the booming construction industry, especially around Jacksonville and Orlando.
  • $500,000 to the Business Center for New Americans, New York, to increase lending to new Americans, expand a pilot Line of Credit loan product, and provide financial management coaching for minority, women, and immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • $500,000 to California Farmlink, Aptos, California, to increase business services for farmers of color through one-on-one technical assistance, loan capital, and exploration of other business models and methods over the next three years, which includes a wealth-building program for both farmers and ranchers.
  • $300,000 to Coastal Enterprises, Brunswick, Maine, to provide capital as well as financial counseling women, people of color, and immigrant business owners and to expand the successful programming based in Portland, Maine, to more rural parts of the state.
  • $250,000 to the Community Vision Capital & Consulting, San Francisco, to support the launch of a new loan fund, which will bring access to loans to historically underinvested businesses and bring more employment opportunities in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
  • $450,000 to ECDC Enterprise Development Group, Arlington, Virginia, to build momentum with African-American and Hispanic small business owners through loans and technical assistance, especially in the Baltimore area.
  • $425,000 to FINANTA, Philadelphia, to expand its Affinity Group Lending model to California, Alabama, Missouri, and Nebraska, which is expected to benefit approximately 80 new diverse small business owners.
  • $500,000 to the Latino Economic Development Center, Washington, D.C., to create about 300 businesses and retain approximately 1,500 jobs over the next three years.
  • $500,000 to the Natural Capital Investment Fund, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to cultivate a network of women-owned small businesses.
  • $225,000 to Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Oakland, Nebraska, to grow the success rate of diverse business owners with more training in the required areas of challenges.
  • $500,000 to the Northern Initiatives, Marquette, Michigan, to increase the number of diverse borrowers who have access to small business training.
  • $500,000 to the Pacific Community Ventures, Oakland, California, to expand lending and coaching for underserved entrepreneurs.
  • $500,000 to Propel Nonprofits, Minneapolis, to deploy patient capital with three-to-five-year loans.
  • $500,000 to the South Carolina Community Loan, Charleston, to provide loans, community relationship-building, and technical assistance with historically underserved small businesses.
  • $450,000 to Working Solutions, San Francisco, to infuse new capital into small businesses serving communities of color across San Francisco.
  • $500,000 to WWBIC, Milwaukee, to establish an entrepreneur accelerator program for small business counseling and help shorten the turnaround time on loan processing.

KIND OF FUND

  • Based on the examples of fund deployment above, Wells Fargo’s fund assistance for the small, minority, and women-owned businesses are either loan funds or loan capitals.

BUSINESS FUND #2: JPMORGAN CHASE EXPANDING ENTREPRENEURS OF COLOR FUND TO CHICAGO’S SOUTH AND WEST SIDES

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS FUND

  • JPMorgan Chase will invest $3 million to launch the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund with community partners Accion Chicago and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
  • The program will provide minority entrepreneurs with critical access to capital, education, and other resources.
  • Fifth Third Bank will also invest $2.5 million in the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, pending regulatory approval.
  • The Chicago Entrepreneurs of Color Fund aims to provide $5.5 million in flexible capital to meet the needs of hundreds of minority-owned businesses.
  • The fund will also help create jobs and increase revenues for local businesses.
  • Eligible entrepreneurs for the fund can be in the start-up stage of their business or existing, legacy businesses.
  • The entrepreneurs are typically those who are unable to qualify for traditional loans, due to previous credit challenges, limited financial collateral, short business history, or informal businesses practices.

SUCCESSFUL DEPLOYMENT

  • Accion Chicago and LISC will focus on 15 communities on the South and West Sides, which are marked by segregation, high levels of intergenerational poverty, and historically low levels of small business creation.
  • And as soon as the entrepreneurs are ready to apply for financing, Accion Chicago will use the investments from JPMorgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank and deploy them on a need-to-need basis.
  • Part of a $150-million investment in the city, the fund has tripled in size to $18 million and has lent or approved more than $5 million to 52 small businesses.
  • JPMorgan also plans to invest $3.1 million in a similar fund in San Francisco and $2 million in the South Bronx.

KIND OF FUND

BUSINESS FUND #3: JPMORGAN CHASE EXPANDING ASCEND 2020 

DESCRIPTION OF THE FUND

  • JPMorgan Chase will invest an additional $1 million to continue its business mentoring programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University as part of the Ascend 2020 program, a national network of university-led programs for minority entrepreneurs.
  • This expanded funding will help the University of Chicago and Northwestern University to assist an additional 70 small businesses.
  • Ascend 2020 is currently active in six cities—Washington, DC., Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Atlanta—as part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150-million Small Business Forward program to help women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs.
  • Through Ascend 2020, best-in-class universities across the country connect minority entrepreneurs to mentoring, supplier networks and community partners to improve access to the 3Ms: management strength (through business education), markets (business-to-business and consumers), and money (seed capital, flexible credit, and equity investment).”
  • The University of Chicago’s Ascend 2020 program supports businesses with under $1 million annual revenues, while Northwestern’s program supports minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs with annual revenues of more than $1 million.
  • JPMorgan Chase has doubled the size of the fund, from $75 million to $150 million, as part of a $20-billion, five-year U.S. investment that focuses on small business lending commitment and community investments to drive inclusive economic growth.
  • JPMorgan Chase will also invest an additional $100,000 planning grant to help support entrepreneurs in Long Island, New York, the first of the four new cities to be announced as part of Ascend 2020.

SUCCESSFUL DEPLOYMENT

KIND OF FUND

  • Both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago grant funds through Ascend 2020 as seed capital, flexible credit, and/or equity investment.

BUSINESS FUND #4: JPMORGAN CHASES’S SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENTS IN CHICAGO IN 2017

DESCRIPTION OF THE FUND

  • JPMorgan Chase invested over $2 million in minority-owned businesses in Chicago in 2017 as part of a $40-million commitment to build underserved communities and boost local economies in neighborhoods located on the South Side and West Side.
  • The investment was allocated to fund six nonprofits that empower entrepreneurs of color and female founders with access to capital, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

SUCCESSFUL DEPLOYMENT

  • JPMorgan Chase funded 1871 (or the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center) since its founding five years ago. In 2016, the firm invested $150,000 to help them develop WiSTEM and build partnerships with the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Bunker Labs for underserved populations.
  • They granted $200,000 to the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation (IHCCF) to help diversify the small business community by targeting around 30 minority-owned firms.
  • The corporation granted $150,000 to Blue1647 to provide access to capital, resources, and educational programming for small businesses that are neighborhood-based to promote diversity in the small business tech industry.
  • $200,000 was granted to Women’s Business Development Center, $400,000 to the World Business Chicago, $200,000 to Sunshine Enterprises, and $1.1 million to IFF to help small business owners.

KIND OF FUND

  • The program investment was allocated to fund six nonprofits that will in turn help empower entrepreneurs of color and female founders with access to capital, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS

  • The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, a partnership by the Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation, was launched in 2014 to help connect women business owners to affordable loans to help grow their businesses.
  • The program has deployed more than $46 million in capital over the five-year partnership, administered by community development financial institutions (CDFIs), to help more than 2,500 women entrepreneurs across 17 states.
  • In 2019, the program plans to double their lending to $100 million in capital to connect women small business owners to affordable loans.
  • Many small business grants for specific groups of people like women, minorities, veterans, or young business owners are also available at micro-level, like the AAUW Career Development Grant, Arizona STEP Grant, Ben Franklin Innovation Partnership, and Chicago IncentOvate, among others.
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