Individual Wealth Building

The Midas Collaborative

Launched in 1999 by the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation with just 4 members, The Midas Collaborative is now a statewide network of 30 organizations committed to advancing the financial security of low and moderate income Massachusetts residents.  To do so, the Collaborative runs a range of asset-building programs, which it complements with policy work focused on stabilizing income, reducing expenses for the working poor, ensuring consumer financial protections, and protecting assets.  In 2016, Midas’ matched savings program supported 1,536 low and moderate income people, who saved over $1.9 million and earned $2.6 million in matches.

ICA Group

ICA Group aims to expand economic opportunity and self-determination by supporting initiatives that empower workers, build community assets, and root capital locally through employee ownership.  Since its founding in Boston in the late 1970s by a group eager to replicate Mondragon’s cooperative model, ICA has helped start more than 30 cooperatives and social enterprises and convert dozens of companies to worker ownership, saving or creating over 10,000 jobs.  In 2007, ICA formed the Alternative Staffing Alliance, a network of over 50 social-purpose staffing agencies that now connect over 30,000 people with barriers to employment to job opportunities and supportive services on an annual basis.

Urban League of Broward County

Based in Fort Lauderdale, the Urban League of Broward County is a community-based organization working to help Black residents secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights. Through its Entrepreneurship Center, the nonprofit supports business creation and growth in South Florida’s historically disenfranchised communities by offering a range of business development services and small loans. In 2016, the Center supported the creation of 44 new businesses and engaged 1,000 people in asset-building workshops. To increase wealth in low-income communities, the Urban League also runs an Individual Development Account program that provides a $2 match for every dollar saved for post-secondary education, business development, or homeownership.

Partners for Self-Employment

Partners for Self-Employment (PSE) aims to strengthen the financial well-being of South Florida’s low to moderate income residents by providing financial literacy training and opportunities to borrow and save. To encourage homeownership and business development, the nonprofit has a matched savings program that provides a $2 match for every dollar saved up to $1,000.  PSE also offers direct loans to small businesses seeking to grow and runs peer lending circles for new business owners. Since its establishment in 1993, PSE has supported over 8,000 South Florida residents.

NewMeAccelerator

NewMeAccelerator (NewMe) aims to help “out-of-the-box” entrepreneurs transform their ideas into successful businesses.  The program includes 1-week residential accelerators and web-based on-going support.  Since its launch in 2011, NewMe has helped minority entrepreneurs raise over $25 million in funding.

NewMeAccelerator

NewMeAccelerator (NewMe) aims to help “out-of-the-box” entrepreneurs transform their ideas into successful businesses.  The program includes 1-week residential accelerators and web-based on-going support.  Since its launch in 2011, NewMe has helped minority entrepreneurs raise over $25 million in funding.

Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council/Business Center

Based in Miami, the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council strives to foster business development and expansion by connecting minority-owned businesses to corporations and government agencies.  The Council offers a range of capacity building services, including access to loans for a range of business needs. The Council also operates the Miami Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, which provides business development and technical assistance services to minority businesses in South Florida.  Since its establishment in 1975, the Council has helped certify 912 minority-owned businesses, resulting in sales of roughly $9 billion.

Center for Civic Innovation

Aiming to push Atlanta to be a smart, equitable, and engaged city, the Center for Civic Innovation supports and invests in people and organizations working to make Atlanta’s public sector more effective, innovative, and participatory.  Through its Civic Innovation Fellowship, the Center provides Atlanta social entrepreneurs with business and leadership development programs, free workspace, and mentorship.  In partnership with the Food Well Alliance, the Center also has a Food Innovation Fellows program to support entrepreneurs, educators, and community organizers working to build healthier communities by connecting food growers to consumers.  Most recently, the nonprofit launched its Westside Innovation Lab in 2016 to identify and support community-driven and community-built ideas and interventions within Atlanta’s westside neighborhoods.

Closing the Women's Wealth Gap: What It Is, Why It Matters, and What Can Be Done About It

Heather McCulloch

While the pay gap between men and women is widely discussed, the wealth gap is even more pronounced: single women own 32 cents for every dollar owned by men, with women of color owning pennies to the dollar. This new report from the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative discusses the systems and dynamics that generate this gap, including disparate access to business equity and home ownership opportunities. The author recommends tax reforms that make wealth building subsidies more accessible to women of color in particular, as well as strategies like cooperative ownership and more flexible savings account options.

Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute

Founded in 2008, the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI) fosters entrepreneurship as a way to create economic and social mobility.  To do so, RMMFI provides skill-building, mentorship, and small loans to low and moderate income entrepreneurs. Its Business Launch Boot Camp is credited with graduating entrepreneurs who currently own and operate 31 area businesses.

Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center

Based in Denver, the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center (RMEOC) strives to nurture an economic system characterized by inclusion by advocating for and providing pathways to employee ownership.  To do so, RMEOC offers consultation services to business owners interested in transitioning to employee ownership and promotes employee ownership across the region by advancing legislation and fostering a range of educational events and efforts.

Mi Casa

Operating since 1976, Mi Casa focuses on fostering the economic success of Denver’s Latino and working families.  Through its Mi Casa Women’s Business Center, the nonprofit offers entrepreneurial training, business counseling, technology training, and networking opportunities to support entrepreneurs and emerging businesses.  In 2015, Mi Casa served 2,724 people and helped launch 82 new businesses.  To diversify and expand its revenue base, Mi Casa also operates two social enterprises, Mi Casa BackOffice Solutions, which provides nonprofits and small businesses with accounting and bookkeeping services, and Mi Casa TalentSolutions, which is a staffing agency specializing in bilingual talent.

Equitable Investments in the Next Generation: Designing Policies to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Meschede, Thomas Shapiro, Dedrick Asante-Muhammed and Emanuel Nieves

Median Latino and Black households have over $100,000 less in wealth than median White households, a disparity that persists despite reductions in income inequality. This new report from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and CFED puts forward a “racial wealth audit” framework, assessing how specific policies either lessen or inadvertently perpetuate the racial wealth gap. The authors call for “targeted universalism” noting that policies such as Children’s Savings Account and eliminating student debt will only successfully address the racial wealth gap if they focus in particular on low income households.

Elmseed Enterprise Fund

Aiming to catalyze successful small business development in New Haven, Elmseed Enterprise Fund provides entrepreneurs with small, low-interest loans and technical assistance.  Since its establishment in 2001, Elmseed has disbursed more than 30 loans totaling over $70,000.

Strengthening VITA to Boost Financial Security at Tax Time & Beyond

Shervan Sebastian, Ezra Levin and David Newville

In 2015, Congress increased funding for VITAfor the first time in six yearsby $3 million. However, in order for the program to meet the growing demand for its services, VITA must be authorized, expanded and modernized. This paper explores how the VITA program has developed over time and how local VITA programs serve their communities. It then highlights the VITA program’s present challenges and opportunities for valuable reforms that would enable VITA sites to serve more people.