Building Accelerators to serve Black and Hispanic community entrepreneurs

27 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2022

See all articles by Oluwabukola Apata

Oluwabukola Apata

Washington University in St. Louis

Xandi Barrett

Washington University in St-Louis

Yoni Blumberg

WEPOWER

Heather Cameron

Washington University in St. Louis

Keisha Mabry

WEPOWER

Edgar Payano

WEPOWER

Date Written: March 23, 2022

Abstract

Entrepreneurship among people of color is one component of breaking down systemic racial wealth disparities in the United States. However, some of the same systems that contribute to systemic racial wealth disparities also create many barriers for Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to start and maintain businesses, in particular when trying to access capital.
Accelerators that focus on equity and racial justice can be a part of solving this problem. This report studied how WEPOWER’s Elevate/Elevar accelerator, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has adapted Village Capital’s accelerator curriculum to meet the needs of their entrepreneurs. Currently in its second year, the Elevate/Elevar accelerator is continuing to learn about the needs of its founders, and these insights are a useful starting point for any accelerator to ensure its program will meet the needs of Black and Hispanic founders and break down racialized barriers to entrepreneurship.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, racial equity, capital, community development

JEL Classification: a13,o32

Suggested Citation

Apata, Oluwabukola and Barrett, Alexandra and Blumberg, Yoni and Cameron, Heather and Mabry, Keisha and Payano, Edgar, Building Accelerators to serve Black and Hispanic community entrepreneurs (March 23, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4064297 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4064297

Oluwabukola Apata

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

63102 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.capitalaccess.wustl.edu

Alexandra Barrett

Washington University in St-Louis

Yoni Blumberg

WEPOWER ( email )

Heather Cameron (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sei-lab.wustl.edu

Keisha Mabry

WEPOWER ( email )

Edgar Payano

WEPOWER ( email )

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