Across America, business ownership remains one of the most significant ways to build intergenerational wealth and economic mobility in our communities. Yet this ambition is often out of reach for many people in the Bay Area, who face a myriad of socio-economic and racial barriers in accessing capital to launch a business.
In the nine-county Bay Area, only about 6% of businesses with employees in the region’s nine counties are Hispanic-owned, and less than 1% are Black-owned, according to 2017 U.S. Census data.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is committed to helping eliminate these barriers so that underrepresented entrepreneurs with a promising, bright idea have an opportunity to bring it to life. Today, CZI is launching its Inclusive Entrepreneurship program, a $3 million initiative benefiting organizations that support entrepreneurship across the Bay Area.
“Given the diversity that exists in the Bay Area, we believe that opportunity should be available to all communities,” says Rosa Cabrera, Senior Manager for Community. “At CZI, we aim to empower these communities by giving them the building blocks and resources that they need to succeed. This program aims to give underrepresented entrepreneurs a jumpstart in creating a financially sustainable future not only for themselves, but for their communities.”
CZI will award six grants of up to $500,000 each to organizations that support small businesses and entrepreneurs. Funding will be spent over a two-year period, beginning July 1, 2023, through July 31, 2025.
The funding will support community-rooted businesses owned and operated by locals. These include childcare and home repair services, hair stylists, local art studios and clothing shop owners, among others.
Grant funds can be allocated toward:
- Programmatic expenses, including staff salaries and benefits.
- Capital for entrepreneurs, such as micro-grants and loans.
- Data collection and reporting capacity.
- Overhead expenses (up to 20%).
Those eligible for the grants are nonprofit organizations, intermediaries, and CDFIs that work with entrepreneurs and small business owners and serve one or more counties in the greater San Francisco Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma).
For more information on Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and to apply for a grant, please visit our website detailing eligibility. Applications can be submitted March 1-15.
About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our communities. Through collaboration, providing resources and building technology, our mission is to help build a more inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit chanzuckerberg.com.