Detroit's Entrepreneurs of Color Fund Expands to Over $18 Million

Detroit Development Fund, JPMorgan Chase and W.K. Kellogg Foundation reported that the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit is attracting new investors and nearly tripling the fund's size from $6.5 million to over $18 million due to demand for capital and a continued effort to help all Detroiters benefit from the city's comeback.

"Our Entrepreneurs of Color Fund has created great economic opportunity for minority-owned small businesses in Detroit this year," said Ray Waters, President, Detroit Development Fund. "This expansion of the fund will create countless new jobs and bring new goods and services to even more neighborhoods in the coming years."

According to a media release, as part of JPMorgan Chase's $150 million commitment to Detroit's economic recovery, in 2015, the firm, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and Detroit Development Fund (DDF) created a fund to provide minority-owned small businesses with access to capital and technical assistance. JPMorgan Chase originally invested $3.5 million and the Kellogg Foundation committed $3.5 million as part of its larger roughly $25 million annual investment in the city and commitment to promoting equity.

"We're doing everything we can in Detroit to create more opportunities for people of color and providing entrepreneurs greater access to the small business capital they need to succeed is helping us accomplish that," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "Detroiters who've opened or expanded a small business already have created hundreds of jobs. We need more, so I'm very grateful to JPMorgan Chase for encouraging investors to work together and grow the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, and for its ongoing support in the revitalization of our city."

To meet the ongoing demand of the successful fund, JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation each are making new investments of $2 million and actively recruiting new funders to significantly increase the size of the fund. New investors include the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation ($2.5 million), Fifth Third Bank ($3 million) and the Kresge Foundation which has committed to providing first loss guarantee up to $2 million. All of these new investments are expected to encourage other investors to support the fund.

"Thanks to this fund, minority-owned small businesses are rebuilding homes, repairing streetlights and opening neighborhood retail stores, and their entrepreneurial spirit is a big part of Detroit's continued comeback," said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase. "When a fund like this is successful, we want to help it reach more small businesses and that's exactly what we're doing by encouraging investors to collaborate and taking this model to help entrepreneurs in San Francisco and the South Bronx next year."

"The Kellogg Foundation developed and initiated this fund to dramatically change the wealth trajectory of people of color in the city and its neighborhoods," said La June Montgomery Tabron, WKKF's President and CEO. "Our commitment to the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund provides a pathway for community ownership, better jobs and more opportunities. The goal is more equitable economic development and an increase of quality of life for the people of Detroit and their children."

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  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Tea Forté Introduces ‘Matcha’ Collection

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QUICK 5 has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.

Among other insights, the roundup revealed:

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