Individual Wealth Building

New Jersey Citizen Action

Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) aims to protect and expand the rights of individuals and families and ensure that government officials respond to the needs of people.  To ensure community members have the technological skills to make smart financial decisions, NJCA established a Financial Education & Technology Center in Newark in 2000, and a second location in Camden in 2002.  Through the Centers, first-time homebuyers can participate in a free loan counseling program (which is credited with helping over 10,000 families purchase homes), and residents can access free tax preparation, financial education, and technology workshops.  The Centers also provide financial literacy training to individuals participating in New Jersey's Individual Development Account Program.

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) works to stimulate economic development in inner city communities by accelerating the growth of small businesses, particularly those with women and minority owners.  IFEL services include business consulting, financial modeling, leadership coaching/training, and Quick Books training.  From its initial pilot program in 2004 with just 5 Newark-based entrepreneurs, IFEL now serves about 100 people a year.  It also runs GrowSpace, a co-working office aiming to provide a supportive environment in which entrepreneurs can grow. Read more about Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership...

City First Enterprises (CFE)

City First Enterprises (CFE) aims to promote social justice by increasing economic access and expanding opportunity for low-wealth communities.  To do so, the organization works to incubate and nurture solutions that channel capital and services to people and places without access.  Demonstrating this approach, CFE has launched City First Bank, City First Homes, and City First New Markets Tax Credit Venture Fund, which, in total, are credited with supporting over 5,000 units of affordable housing, 7,000 school seats, and 3,400 jobs.  Currently, CFE is working with a consortium of local funders to implement a Community Wealth Building Initiative, which aims to foster more wealth-building jobs and harness the spending power of area anchor institutions by creating green, sustainable, employee-owned businesses that provide anchors with needed products and services.

High Tech Rochester

High Tech Rochester (HTR) is a nonprofit working to catalyze entrepreneurship and innovation-based economic development within the Rochester region.  To do so, High Tech Rochester offers a range of services including technology commercialization, business incubation, and growth services to support the formation and profitable growth of companies in the greater Rochester area.  Since 1997, HTR has assisted more than 1,000 local entrepreneurs and supported 84 start-ups through its multi-year incubation program.  Since 2010, it has also supported 180 small and mid-sized manufacturing companies in the area, creating a $496 million positive economic impact in jobs, revenue, investments, and cost savings.

Urban Solutions

Established in 1992, Urban Solutions aims to strengthen underserved neighborhoods by supporting small businesses, job creation, diversity, and sustainability.  To do so, it offers a range of free business services, including individual consulting, workshops, and leasing assistance. Since its founding, Urban Solutions has served more than 4,900 small business clients and distributed $24.5 million in loans, leading to the creation of 665 jobs. Read more about Urban Solutions...

Southeast Asian Community Center (SEACC)

Founded in 1975 by leaders in the Southeast Asian community to help the thousands of Southeast Asians fleeing Vietnam, the Southeast Asian Community Center (SEACC) initially advocated for services and the rights of citizenship for Southeast Asians, and helped immigrants transition and integrate into American society.  Recognizing that many immigrants had limited employment options due to their lack of English fluency or appropriate training, SEACC helped catalyze the first technical assistance and microloan programs for small businesses in the nation.  Since these programs launched in the mid 1980s, SEACC has supported more than 2,000 business clients in the San Francisco region.  Current services include microlending to startup and early stage businesses, referrals for larger loans, and free technical assistance to all San Francisco small businesses.

San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center

Established in 2002, the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center aims to connect the LGBT community to opportunities, resources, and each other to ensure a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBT people and allies.  Each month, the Center hosts over 200 programs and serves more than 9,000 people.  Specific wealth-building programs include individual business counseling, peer-to-peer small business lending circles, a free drop-in incubator for small businesses, small business mentorships, first-time homebuyer workshops, and financial capability classes.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those who traditionally lack access to resources and information to achieve financial self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.  Renaissance provides training, support services, resources, and networks for business owners at every stage of business development, helping more than 1,500 low to moderate income Bay Area residents a year launch and grow over 400 businesses that generate approximately $28 million in revenue. It also runs a business incubator located in San Francisco’s South of Market, which provides low-cost office space and intensive business development services to over 30 businesses.

Greensboro Community Looks to Food Cooperative to Fill Grocery Gap

A low-income community of color applies a cooperative solution to combat food insecurity
What would you do if the only full-service grocery store in your community suddenly closed? When this misfortune fell upon the residents of northeast Greensboro, North Carolina, they took matters into their own hands and mobilized to build a community-owned store.

John H. Boner Community Center

Founded in 1971, the John H. Boner Community Center provides a range of programs and services aimed to improve the quality of life for residents of Indianapolis’ Near Eastside community.  To help residents build assets, the Center has an Individual Development Account (IDA) program, which provides a $3 match for each $1 participants save for home ownership, personal education, or to expand a small business.  In 2012, the Center opened the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, which was partially capitalized by a $1 million gift from the National Football League. Read more about John H. Boner Community Center...

Business Ownership Initiative (BOI)

Based in Indianapolis, Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) aims to help Central Indiana residents start and grow businesses.  To do so, BOI offers free one-on-one business coaching, access to financing, business workshops, and online business courses.  In FY 2012, BOI counseled nearly 450 people, and more than 400 people participated in its training programs.  Over two-thirds of its clients are non-Caucasian populations. Read more about Business Ownership Initiative (BOI)...

A House Divided: How Race Colors the Path to Homeownership

Skylar Olsen et al.

More than 50 years after Dr. King fought for equality, “it is apparent that the American dream of homeownership is not equally shared,” notes real estate firm Zillow’s chief economist Stan Humphries in a study coauthored by Zillow and the National Urban League. To build wealth in communities of color and reduce wealth inequality, the authors call for the removal of institutional barriers toward homeownership, such as policies that advocate arbitrarily high down-payment requirements, as well as an expansion of predatory lending protections.

The Idea Village

Founded in 2000, The Idea Village is a nonprofit organization focused on identifying, supporting, and retaining entrepreneurial talent in New Orleans.  One of its core programs is Entrepreneur Season, its annual cycle (running from July to March) of free programs and events focused on educating, supporting, and connecting local entrepreneurs.  During its 2014 Entrepreneur Season, The Idea Village held 222 events, which engaged over 6,100 people, and helped 834 local entrepreneurs access nearly $2.3 million in capital, consulting, and other resources. Read more about The Idea Village...