The Runway Project at Impact Hub DC is working to bridge the friends and family gap for African American businesses, when the average black family has $12,000 in assets and the average white family has $144,000 in assets. It is the contention of our leader, Jessica Norwood that the friends and family gap for African American startups is a runway problem; not a pilot problem. We are cataloguing the emerging set of place based solutions that work to solve the friends and family problem at Neighborhood Economics Sphaera.world portal, and we host monthly peer learning and support calls for the cities in our NE network working on community wealth creation.
The first public unveiling of the Runway Project will be April 15 at Impact Hub NYC. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-missing-infrastructure-for-african-american-wealth-creation-registration-22429280582
Partners of the Runway Project include Rodney Foxworth, who is leading Calvert's Ours to Own Baltimore, which itself works with public sector and foundation partners to channel investments of $20 to businesses that make a difference in that city, like Humanim and Dayspring Square. Foxworth is also CEO of Invested Impact, which is building a stronger Baltimore through inclusive entrepreneurship. But Foxworth knows it's not easy to dig into Baltimore, when other cities, like Washington have more career opportunities. Foxworth is chair of Thread.org which engages underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom by providing each one with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. They foster students’ academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens. A Neighborhood Economics blog post on Rodney's work with Ours to Own is here
Foxworth is also a founder of the Baltimore Impact Hub, Part of the Runway Project is running out of the DC Hub, only an hour train ride away. iHub Baltimore's founding funders and investors include the Annie E Casey Foundation and Johns Hopkins University, the Abell Foundation, the Rouse Family Foundation, Goldseker Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, American Communities Trust, the Aaron Straus and Lillie Straus Foundation, T. Rowe Price, Jubiliee Baltimore and Baltimore Corps.
CFED a large and established multi-faceted organization working at the local, state and federal levels to create economic opportunity that alleviates poverty is a partner researching cash flow management issues for small and micro African American businesses. The Runway Project is collaborating with them. Lauren Williams is one of the people leading that research.