Forward Cities believes that every entrepreneur deserves an equitable chance to launch and grow a business that generates wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.



Forward Cities is on a mission to catalyze wealth building opportunities for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous entrepreneurs by transforming the way local communities see, support, and sustain them.


In our work in dozens of communities across the country, we have found that racially motivated economic exclusion is the biggest barrier to inclusive entrepreneurship and that communities need to address racial issues head on. That requires surfacing and actively working to eliminate race-based biases, systemic barriers, and the complex bureaucracy that prevents Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential.

Our work suggests that achieving equity in entrepreneurship requires building ecosystems specifically designed to support Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous entrepreneurs. We utilize this approach in our Black Wall Street Forward initiative. Black Wall Street Forward is designed to help leaders in Black communities develop new narratives about the role that Black entrepreneurs can play in revitalizing the Black community. The initiative aims to close the racial wealth gap and strengthen the local ecosystems designed to support Black entrepreneurs. The results have been promising and we are now expanding that work.

However, building entrepreneurial support systems that can effectively serve a more diverse population of entrepreneurs requires a distinctive set of skills and leaders with those skills are in short supply. They also tend to burn out quickly and are difficult to replace. This shortage of leaders is a critical constraint to achieving our long-term vision of giving every entrepreneur an equitable chance to launch and grow a business that generates wealth for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Together with our partners, we are organizing action-learning networks that provide dynamic opportunities for the champions of this work. These networks will bring ecosystem builders from within and across communities together to learn from and with one another, acquire effective new tools and strategies, and test promising models and approaches designed to generate new insights. This new knowledge will inform the work of the networks and build the field.



We value collaboration and are always interested in finding new partners.

Tell us how you're interested in working together, and Forward Cities staff will follow-up within three business days. If you are an entrepreneur in Durham, NC looking for resources, please check out E3 Durham for information.