New Haven

Entrepreneurship has the power to transform lives, build individual and community wealth, and catalyze positive change. New Haven is at an important inflection point; by boosting entrepreneurship and small business growth within under-connected communities, the community has the potential to undo structural inequities and remove the barriers to job creation.


The New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (NHE3) was conceived by The Community Foundation (TCF) to build an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem designed for historically marginalized entrepreneurs, such as those who identify as Black, Latinx, and women, in order to:

  • Build individual and family wealth through financial independence
  • Create community wealth and community power
  • Build generational wealth 
  • Support structural change and remove barriers of structural racism; and
  • Create jobs and economic sustainability
New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (NHE3) 

The purpose of the New Haven Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (NHE3) is to convene leaders, community members, and entrepreneurs in implementing short-term infrastructure projects and devising a long-term strategic plan. 

The two-year engagement in New Haven will be led by the NHE3 Council: a group that leads NHE3 implementation by providing guidance and making key decisions about this work. This team is supported by residents, NHE3 staff, TCF, the New Haven Innovation Collaborative (NHIC), local funding partners, and Forward Cities. The Council is designed to be an inclusive, diverse, multicultural, multisector group of leaders, activists, and entrepreneurs who are using this work to achieve more racial, gender, and economic equity. 

The Council will work to:
  • Identify key barriers to local entrepreneurial engagement.
  • Develop community-fed solutions to overcoming these barriers.
  • Implement these solutions in short-term pilot projects.

Lead Facilitators

NHE3’s team of local staff shall have the day-to-day responsibility of working with and supporting the NHE3 Council, the Forward Cities’ team, the funding partners, and the community for the creation and long-term sustainability of the ecosystem. 

Arthur Thomas Headshot

Arthur Thomas

Margaret Lee Headshot

Margaret Lee

Caroline Smith Headshot

Caroline Smith



The Partners

New Haven Innovation Collaborative is an organization of entrepreneurs, researchers, and community builders focused on promoting, connecting, and enabling the ideas and talents that fuel the future of New Haven’s diverse innovation sectors, in life sciences, digital technology, and creative and cultural economies. Learn more about them here.

Forward Cities is a national nonprofit equipping communities and regions to grow and sustain more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems. Forward Cities’ Community Entrepreneurship Accelerators (CEAs) place an equity lens on entrepreneurial ecosystems to ensure more access to resources is available to those with fundamentally sound business ideas. Learn more about them here.


Keep In Touch

Stay tuned by subscribing to CFGNH’s newsletter for announcements. 

If you’d like to learn about how Forward Cities can engage your community, email Hassan Bazzi