The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, has announced a grant of $1.67 million to Living Cities in support of research on and the launch of an investment vehicle for fund managers of color interested in investing in entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups.
The grant will enable Living Cities to hire additional staff to develop and manage the fund and compile research and data to identify the root causes, problems, and solutions to current capital challenges for fund managers of color. The funding builds on the foundation's Capital Access Lab (CAL), an initiative that provides early-stage capital to funds that make investments in underserved entrepreneurs, with a focus on entrepreneurs of color, women, and those in rural areas.
"We believe that getting more capital to fund managers of color will help open doors and access to capital for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are traditionally left behind," said Philip Gaskin, the foundation's vice president of entrepreneurship. "During COVID-19, we have seen Black entrepreneurs and small business owners disproportionately impacted. The Kauffman Foundation's partnership with Living Cities stems from a joint mission to prioritize access to capital and ensure entrepreneurs of color have opportunities to recover and rebuild better."