Kauffman Inclusion Open
2019 Inclusion Open
We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to turn an idea into an economic reality, regardless of who you are or where you’re from, with zero barriers in the way.
While entrepreneurship in the United States has been on a 40-year decline, we see opportunities to spur new business creation in local economies by funding quality entrepreneurship support programs to all entrepreneurs.
To find uncommon solutions that accelerate the rate of business starts and growth in all communities, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation invites proposals from nonprofit and for-profit organizations that can either test new ideas or scale already-proven programs to remove barriers that make starting and growing a business more difficult.
Organizations working to provide quality entrepreneurial support programs that reduce or eliminate barriers to entrepreneurial starts and company growth for communities that have been systemically left behind are welcome to apply. We believe these organizations are critical to reversing the decline in entrepreneurship reflected in the following:
- According to the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, women own approximately 20 percent of all employer businesses. This stands in contrast to women comprising 50.8 percent of the United States population.
- According to the 2016 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, racial minorities own 18.8 percent of employer-owned businesses. This stands in contrast to their representation in the United States population. While African-Americans own 2.2 percent of employer-owned businesses, they comprise 13.4 percent of the overall population. Native Americans own 0.5 percent of employer-owned businesses, but comprise 1.3 percent of overall population. For Asian-Americans, the disparity is 9.9 percent, compared to 5.8 percent. Hispanic-Americans (regardless of race) own 6.0 percent, compared to representing 18.1 percent of the population.
- The rate of self-employment in rural areas has fallen by 20 percent between 1988-2016, more than double the overall decline in self-employment.
While we hope to see quality programs in all focus areas, in 2019 we are especially interested in programs that test or scale solutions in the following areas:
Solutions Supporting Quality Experiences to Promote Inclusive & Equitable Entrepreneurship
- Equitable entrepreneurship in industries traditionally lacking diversity
- Support for under-addressed stages of company development and growth
- Support for coaching and instruction models that drive company acceleration
Solutions Focused on Inclusive & Equitable Ecosystems and Communities for Entrepreneurs
- Solutions to diversify decision makers in entrepreneurship ecosystems
- Solutions that influence gatekeeper decision making behaviors
- Innovations in models for cross-organizational alignment
- Developing nontraditional entrepreneurship hubs
- Policy solutions and activity to strengthen inclusive ecosystems
- Innovative rural entrepreneurship solutions
- Solutions to reduce isolation and related stresses of entrepreneurship
To remove barriers, we believe that work with entrepreneurs must be done with certain values in mind. For this reason, all applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate a combination of some of the following:
- Evidence of your organization’s impact
- Providing community-informed strategies and programming
- Systemically demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Building equitable organizational collaborations
- Having the ability to articulate their organizational impact on the entrepreneurship ecosystem
- The organization’s use of best practices and current research in program design and delivery
- The organization’s ability to measure impact of proposed activities
- The organization’s openness to learning
- The scope of project’s impact
- The viability and sustainability of the proposed project
Charitable Activities: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, as a private charity, must fund only charitable activities as described here. All for-profit applicants will be subject to additional questions in order to determine the charitability of all proposed activities.
We recognize not all organizations will be able to demonstrate substantive actions on each item. Please review the full RFP text here for further explanation.
Download application questions here.
Visit the FAQ page here.
Applications are open January 23, 2019 through February 6, 2019.
For applicants having problems with accessing or submitting the application, please reach out to the SurveyMonkey help desk here.
If for some reason SurveyMonkey is not able to reset your account by the deadline, please submit your responses to us via email in a Word document or with screenshots by 11:59pm tomorrow night and we will include it with the rest of the applications. Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org