Ecosystem Building: Denver/Aurora
The Denver and Aurora regions have a diverse and thriving small business community, but many entrepreneurs, especially immigrants, people of color and women, are struggling to access the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. To foster a stronger ecosystem in these communities and provide connections for these entrepreneurs, we launched a dedicated program supporting home-based entrepreneurs, including childcare service providers, a group that is often in need of funding and technical assistance in order to open and grow their businesses. Many of these entrepreneurs are women of color who live and work in underserved areas like Northwest Aurora. We recently launched an incubator series for entrepreneurs interested in starting home-based businesses, with an emphasis on supporting immigrant, refugee and other underrepresented entrepreneurs in Northwest Aurora. The workshops highlight trades such as baking, child care and auto repair as well as “new economy” jobs like self-publishing, legal services, tech support and art. The goal is to underscore the potential for home-based businesses to subsidize existing household income streams, providing substantial quality of life improvements for these underserved groups and their families.