JPMorgan Chase has announced a commitment of $5.1 million to establish two new funds that will provide entrepreneurs of color in San Francisco and the South Bronx with access to the capital they need to grow, create jobs, and drive local economic growth.
Building on the success of its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund model in Detroit, the firm will invest $3.1 million in San Francisco and $2 million in the South Bronx, with the goal of helping minority-owned small businesses participate in local economic growth despite challenges such as rising rents and higher operating costs.
Through the San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, the bank will bring together three organizations — Working Solutions, ICA Fund Good Jobs, and Pacific Community Ventures — to help entrepreneurs of color start, grow, and keep businesses in the city. To that end, the collaborative will provide loans and technical assistance, with loans starting at $5,000 for startups and larger loans for more established small businesses. And through the South Bronx Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, the bank will partner with the Excelsior Growth Fund and Accion to create tailored solutions, including flexible small business loan products, for businesses in that New York City borough. CommonWise Education, a network of grassroots local leaders, labor leaders, and institutions whose mission is to end generational poverty in the Bronx, will work with the bank to inform the design of the fund.
Two years ago, JPMorgan Chase, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Detroit Development Fund, launched the $6.5 million Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit as part of a $150 million investment in the Motor City's economic recovery. In December, the partners announced that, based on the fund's initial success and improving economic conditions in Detroit, they were nearly tripling the fund's size, to more than $18 million. Since its launch, the fund has approved or loaned a total of $4.7 million to forty-five minority-owned small businesses, resulting in more than six hundred new or retained jobs. More than half of the loaned funds (53 percent) are supporting minority women-owned businesses, while 70 percent are supporting small businesses.
"Creating inclusive growth is a challenge facing cities all over the world, and that's especially true in places like San Francisco and the South Bronx," said JPMorgan Chase global head of corporate responsibility Peter Scher. "We want to help more Americans share in the rewards of a growing economy, and with this new fund we will be able to share lessons from our work in Detroit and create meaningful, long-term growth for underserved entrepreneurs."