Since our founding in 2014, Forward Cities has worked with over twenty cities nationally to foster stronger and more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Due to COVID-19 and a heightened awareness of racial and economic inequities, it is clear that strong, connected support systems – particularly for New Majority business owners – are more important than ever. We provide community engagement and capacity building in five key areas:
- Community Innovation
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Research and Evaluation
- Marketing and Communications
- Learning Networks
Through our new responsive E3 Accelerator, ESHIP Communities initiative, and the Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator engagement (CEA), Forward Cities strives to increase connectivity and collaboration throughout a community.
Through a six month engagement, Forward Cities leverages its extensive experience convening cross-sector and diverse stakeholders to assess the health of a city’s equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem (E3). Utilizing robust quantitative and qualitative research and discovery tools – all of which have been adapted in response to COVID and address racial justice and persistent economic inequities – Forward Cities collaborates with communities to convene a representative Council of local stakeholders.
If you would like to learn more about our E3 Accelerator engagement, please contact Fay Horwitt.
The ESHIP Communities program is a community-driven approach for building entrepreneurial ecosystems that foster inclusion, relationships, collaboration, and social capital across networks of entrepreneurs and those who support them. The program supports the creation and evaluation of a repeatable, bottom-up approach to building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Forward Cities is managing the implementation of the ESHIP Communities initiative as a grantee of the Kauffman Foundation.
COMMUNITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACCELERATOR
Our Community Entrepreneurship Accelerator (CEA) is a local capacity-building engagement uniquely centered at the cross-section of economic development, community development, and business development.
Through our CEA engagement, we bring together local coalitions of community partners, entrepreneurs, and economic development stakeholders to co-create and implement strategies that lower barriers to access and participation in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our work adheres to a human-centered design approach, is guided by city-specific research and evaluation, and utilizes storytelling and shared learning to amplify impact.
In addition to our community specific work, Forward Cities works in regions that are striving to expand their entrepreneurial output and innovation capacity—particularly within currently under-connected and/or under-invested communities. By working across a region or state, there are opportunities to break down the urban-rural divide, leverage regional/state funding, and foster shared learning and collaboration.
At Forward Cities, we value collaboration above all and are always interested in finding new partners, exploring new ideas, and forging new ground. Please take 1-2 minutes to complete this form, which allows you to share how you might like to engage with us as we collectively pursue equity for every entrepreneur.