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Kauffman Inclusion Open

Kauffman Inclusion Open
 

Qualification Criteria

The Kauffman Inclusion Open is intended for nonprofit and for-profit organizations with uncommon solutions for leveling the playing field for diverse entrepreneurs who have been excluded due to demographic, socio-economic and geographic barriers. Qualified organizations will demonstrate how they would address these types of barriers:

  • Direct barriers, including but not limited to access to training, mentoring and capital, and/or
  • Contributing and social issues that address the root causes of barriers, including but not limited to bias, poverty, declining infrastructure and demographic shifts.

Diversity in this RFP includes gender, race, age, geography, disability, sexual orientation and those who are part of specialized groups, such as veterans and displaced workers.

Overview
 
Entrepreneurship remains in a long-term decline that has prevented millions of Americans from achieving economic success. This is especially true for women, minorities and others facing demographic, socio-economic and geographic barriers to starting and growing businesses.

Ewing Kauffman Foundation invites proposals from nonprofit and for-profit organizations that can address direct barriers to diverse entrepreneurs, such as access to training, mentoring and capital, and/or the root causes of those barriers, such as bias, poverty, declining infrastructure and demographic shifts.

If your organization has uncommon solutions to leveling the playing field for diverse entrepreneurs, you may qualify for this grant program. If your organization is working to address the underlying causes of these barriers, you also may qualify.
 
We’re calling on everyone who fights for entrepreneurs to help clear the path for diverse makers, doers and dreamers to pursue their ambitions. We must work together to encourage, guide and reinforce entrepreneurs of all colors, genders and economic backgrounds.
 
About the Inclusion Open
 
Although the United States is seeing a resurgence of business activity, entrepreneurship remains in a long-term decline that has prevented millions of Americans from achieving economic success. This is especially true for women and minorities, who encounter more challenges to starting businesses than their white male counterparts.
 
The 2017 State of Entrepreneurship report highlighted the significant impact that disproportionate barriers facing disadvantaged entrepreneurs have on the U.S. economy: If minorities started and owned businesses at the same rate as non-minorities do, the United States would have more than 1 million additional employer businesses and approximately 9.5 million more jobs in the economy. Regardless of race, women are half as likely as men to own employer businesses. Though not a new trend, the persistent gender business gap costs the United States 1.7 million additional businesses.

The Kauffman Foundation has long funded entrepreneurship support organizations that have significantly contributed to entrepreneurship education. Despite the growing supply of educational content, however, barriers persist for diverse entrepreneurs, and their entrepreneurial outcomes have not improved.

The Kauffman Foundation believes everyone has a fundamental right to turn an idea into an economic reality, regardless of their gender, race or where they’re from. The 2016 Inclusion Challenge grant program, which awarded funds to organizations to help women and entrepreneurs of color achieve higher rates of success, provided the Foundation with new insights. Vetting the candidates for Findings from that program suggest the challenges women and minority entrepreneurs face are actually symptoms of deeper root causes and social issues, such as bias, poverty, declining infrastructure and demographic shifts.

This year, as part of Kauffman’s Zero Barriers movement, the Foundation is issuing the Kauffman Inclusion Open request for proposal to support organizations that address the barriers diverse entrepreneurs face and their deeper root causes. Grants issued through the Kauffman Inclusion Open will enable some organizations to expand their services to more entrepreneurs and other organizations to address the underlying causes of systemic barriers.

The portfolio of grants made to successful Kauffman Inclusion Open candidates could total up to $7 million in awards ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 each, paid over two years to organizations operating in the United States.
 

Inclusion Open Goals

  • Reduce direct, contributing and social barriers to entrepreneurship for diverse populations and underserved markets
  • Collaborate with leading organizations to continue developing our ability to identify market gaps, intervene to reduce barriers and disseminate lessons learned
  • Build a community of practice focused on leveling the playing field for diverse entrepreneurs
  • Encourage the field of entrepreneurship support to consider interventions beyond the traditional founder education offerings and to use human-centered design to more effectively understand and serve the needs of entrepreneurs
  • Surface uncommon ideas with potential scalable impact that could be considered for larger investments


FAQs
Terms & Conditions

Additional Info
Zero Barriers Movement
State of Entrepreneurship Report