“We believe it is possible for people of color to build collective wealth whose benefits extend beyond the individual people, but to the entire community.”
Those words from TBF President and CEO Lee Pelton set the tone for the . November 28th forum, an update to the 2021 report The Color of the Capital Gap: Increasing Capital Access for Entrepreneurs of Color in Massachusetts. An audience of over 100 in-person and online guests listened actively as researchers and panelists, including BII CEO Betty Francisco, explored how the challenges facing small businesses of color in acquiring capital had evolved in the two years since the report.
Orlando Watkins, TBF Vice President and Chief Program Officer, followed Pelton’s remarks. “Imagine the impact we’d have on the GDP and wealth creation if we organize ourselves around closing that capital gap. Today we’re here to go deeper into this unmet demand for capital for entrepreneurs of color,” Watkins said.
Determining how that unmet demand had evolved was the job for Matt Brewster, principal of P2 Advisors, LLC, who shared recent data on the capital gap in Massachusetts.
Brewster, who co-authored the 2021 report, showed data continuing two themes from the 2021 report: the heightened concern of businesses of color being able to get capital, and their lower likelihood of actually receiving it. 88% of Black-owned businesses, 85% of Latinx-owned businesses, and 77% of Asian-owned businesses call capital access a top concern, versus only 55% of white-owned businesses.