Local Entrepreneurship Support Organizations Come Together to Identify Solutions and Build a More Equitable Indianapolis

April 22, 2022 | By

Deryle Daniels

Upwards of fifteen Indianapolis metro entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs), in partnership with JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Forward Cities, are on a journey over the next 10 months to design and implement ecosystem projects that bolster capital access for entrepreneurs of color. This investment is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion racial equity commitment to advance economic inclusion and help close the racial wealth gap. Additionally, the ESOs will participate in capacity-building and racial equity training specific to ecosystem building and collaborate closely with Forward Cities in advancing concrete proposals to attain sustainable funding for this work over time. The engagement is built on the values of equitable and collaborative design and will prioritize convening as a tool to build trust and connection. The design and implementation processes will align with principles from the Design Justice Network

The E3 Indy Engagement was established to ensure that every person in Indianapolis is equally valued, equally protected, and has equitable access to opportunities to start and grow their own business and create wealth for themselves, their families, and/or their communities. 

The E3 Indy Engagement, which builds on the 2020 report compiled by Next Street and Common Futures, formally kicked off on January 20, 2022 with a virtual meeting that was facilitated by the Forward Cities team with representatives from over 15 ESOs. Over the following months, the ESOs will work together to enhance opportunities for coordination and collaboration on outreach initiatives, support services, and other key functions. Ultimately, the ESOs will take a collaborative approach to building and sustaining a more equitable local entrepreneurial ecosystem by developing a sustainable pilot project.


Media Contact:
Deryle Daniels
Forward Cities



JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $3.7 trillion in assets and $294.1 billion in stockholders’ equity as of December 31, 2021. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S. and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. 

Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com 

Forward Cities is a national nonprofit equipping communities and regions to grow and sustain more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems. Launched in 2014, Forward Cities started as a learning partnership between leaders in four cities: Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, and Durham. The organization then built upon this work with a similar multi-city learning collaborative in North Carolina called InnovateNC and through a 2018 merger with CEOs for Cities, a seminal U.S. urban leadership network. 

Forward Cities has since partnered with numerous national entities interested in reaching underrepresented entrepreneurs and connected them with the resources they need through various hub and spoke models. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation engaged the organization to develop and lead its four-year ESHIP Communities program equipping community navigators to support aspiring and existing business owners in their own local entrepreneurial ecosystems. Similarly, in 2020 Forward Cities partnered with Huntington Bank to develop a navigator learning network for five cities in Ohio. Most recently, we collaborated with IBM to pilot and, eventually, scale a platform to connect BIPOC entrepreneurs with IBM employees who provide technical assistance services in line with their own career skills and expertise.

Forward Cities is headquartered in the Provident 1898 coworking space located within the historic N.C. Mutual Life Insurance tower in downtown Durham. 

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