All Articles Tagged "community engagement"
Despite an increasing level of development in African American entrepreneurship, venture capitalists have yet to show real interest. A CB Insights study show that for the nine percent of all new entrepreneurship activity in 2011, less than one percent of venture capital investment went to African American-owned digital start ups. In the Huffington Post, Darrin Redus, Jump Start Inc’s chief economic inclusion advisor says that it’s up to local communities across the country to foster a greater sense of inclusion for entrepreneurs attempting to secure financial support. But how can communities help build venture capitalist interest and financial support for minority entrepreneurs?
First, they can begin to connect with executive directors and presidents of minority technical and professional groups which are steadily growing across the nation. These organizations include the National Society of Black Engineers and The American Association of Blacks in Energy. A close connection between these groups and leaders in the mainstream will assist in developing the connections and relationships needed to form tech start-ups.
Next, communities can propose educational and awareness-building conference with stakeholders. Redus notes a national Minority Biomedical Entrepreneurship Conference held last May in Cleveland, Ohio which helped promote African American and Hispanic innovation in biomedical entrepreneurship.
Communities can also promote access to capital for minority groups instead of to big corporations and white-owned businesses that generally receive the funding.
Another idea to help foster minority tech-start ups, is pilot programs. Pilot programs allow entrepreneurs to test their new products, technologies and services with established regional and national organizations. If the pilots are successful, then these organizations become the partners and customers of these new products.
Communities should also attempt to build relationships with historically black colleges and universities, specifically in technology. Reaching out to minority alumni associations also assists in fostering these connections.
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