To address the critical gap in support for minority and women entrepreneurs, and catalyze a national conversation around inclusive economic growth, JPMorgan Chase has expanded their Small Business Forward initiative with a multi-year commitment of $150 million to support women-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses with greater access to capital, technical support and guidance.
As part of the Small Business Forward initiative, JPMorgan Chase invests in entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that support early-stage businesses and advance inclusive growth in cities across the U.S. In its first three years, Small Business Forward has partnered with a total of 15 ESOs to support over 4,000 small businesses.
In aggregate, across the three years, these businesses raised almost $550 million in capital, generated nearly $450 million in revenue, employed nearly 13,000 people and paid over $357 million in wages.
ICIC is proud to serve as a partner of Small Business Forward, annually measuring and analyzing the performance and impact of this dynamic cohort of ESOs. An earlier blog summarizes our comprehensive approach to this evaluation, which includes an annual survey of all businesses currently and previously supported by the ESOs. In the table below, we highlight some of the key impact metrics in each of the first three years of the initiative.
Over the past three years, Small Business Forward, through the ESOs it supports, has helped a growing number of small businesses (from 990 businesses in 2015 to 1,679 in 2017) receive critical business education and connections to capital to create more jobs. Because a different sample of businesses was surveyed each year, we cannot make year-over-year comparisons using the aggregate data. Capital, revenue and wages vary across the three years because of the different businesses captured in our survey, not because of any differences in ESO performance.
In 2017, we evaluated 12 organizations with innovative models for driving growth in a particular industry or with a specific population of entrepreneurs. In 2017, these ESOs supported nearly 1,700 businesses that raised $187 million in capital, generated over $174 million in revenue, employed over 4,600 people (including 29 percent local hires), and paid $137 million in wages.
This group of ESOs, and the businesses they support, are driving growth in communities across the U.S. Additionally, on the national stage, Small Business Forward ESOs are having an equally powerful impact by catalyzing their peers to create more inclusive organizations and demonstrating how to get there. In 2017, 26 percent of the businesses they supported were owned by women, and 28 percent were owned by minorities. Small Business Forward ESOs continue to experiment and refine their strategies for reaching and supporting more underrepresented entrepreneurs, but already offer innovative approaches for recruiting diverse entrepreneurs, developing customized programming to create greater effectiveness, and building more inclusive organizational cultures. We highlight effective strategies from each of the 12 ESOs below.