Goodbye 2021. Welcome 2022!

January 31, 2022 | By

Deryle Daniels

This story is adapted from the Forward Cities monthly e-newsletter. Subscribe for the latest news and updates from cities across the country.


January 2022
Goodbye 2021. Welcome 2022!
2022 is here and the only prediction we’re making is that Forward Cities will step up to the plate and continue hitting home runs in the game for building equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country. From new engagements, like E3 Durham, to those transitioning into their own independent phases, like our ESHIP Communities this upcoming June, we are going to not only be busy in 2022 — we are going to be impactful. 

Over the past few months, we've entered into new engagements. We’re developing more innovative ways to tell stories and looking at how we utilize our research to help ecosystems, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders alike be more effective.

While we are still operating in a global pandemic, the past two years have taught us that entrepreneurs are a resilient group who thrive in an ecosystem that is equipped to address their needs. From assistance with marketing efforts to raising awareness around the resources available during challenging times, our work helps keep America’s business owners moving forward. This work was important in years past and it will continue to be critical in 2022 and the years to come.
Farewell to ESHIP Kansas City
"It was obvious that the greater Kansas City ecosystem has grown a lot over the past few years, and yet there is still a long road ahead to make sure that every entrepreneur gets the support they need to reach their potential."
 – Brett Brenton, Senior Director of Learning Networks

In December 2021, Forward Cities wrapped a three year engagement in Kansas City, the first of the four ESHIP Communities to come on board as we began managing the implementation of this effort as a grantee of the Kauffman Foundation.

ESHIP Communities staff have had the great pleasure to continue to get to work alongside ESHIP KC Local Director Gabe Muñoz. Now Gabe is focusing on being the Director of The Toolbox Small Business Resource Center, a pilot program that was a direct result of our work in Kansas City. To say we will miss him is an understatement.

Gabe is one of those rare ecosystem builders who manages to keep a steady eye on the big vision and goals, while simultaneously highly prioritizing the unique needs of every small business owner he comes in contact with. He continues to put his whole heart, keen mind, and dedicated passion into creating equity for every entrepreneur in his community and we are all so grateful for having the opportunity to learn and grow alongside him. 

To Gabe — Thank you being who you are and showing up in this vital work with such integrity, focus, compassion, and awareness. Thank you for caring so deeply about others and always being willing to do what needs to be done to create a more equitable, connected, compassionate, and healthy ecosystem. You are inspiring and we are so very grateful to and for you! 

Make sure to keep up with The Toolbox Small Business Resource Center and ThePorterHouse KC as they continue the work in Kansas City!

We are so grateful for your support!

With your support, we were able to raise nearly $3,000 to build the capacity of grassroots organizations that provide direct support to diverse entrepreneurs. Thank you for your commitment to building a better economy for the doers, makers, and entrepreneurs of our Main Streets! Didn't get a chance to donate, but would like to? Click below.


New Engagements!

The E3 Durham program will deploy trusted Navigators to recruit and support underserved and under-connected entrepreneurs and small business owners through services focused on Connections, Convenings, Counseling, Capital, Care, Civic Supports, Communications, and Coordination.
Our E3 Indy initiative kicked off this month. We are excited to return to the Indianapolis ecosystem. This time we are creating a collaborative space for fifteen ESOs with whom we are co-designing capital access project(s) in support of Black and Brown entrepreneurs.


Industry News, Reports, Best Practices

"Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better."

 – Martin Luther King, Jr.


We are committed to ensuring equity for every entrepreneur, in every community. Please consider a gift to support our work.
Thank you!