Promising Practices Webinar Series

Our Promising Practices webinar series explores the challenges and opportunities most top-of-mind for ecosystem builders, economic development practitioners, community foundations, entrepreneurial support organizations, and other stakeholders interested in creating Equity for Every Entrepreneur (E3) in their community.

This series highlights the impact of this emerging field on a national scale, promoting learning within and between communities. Bringing Forward Cities' experience and expertise gained from years of collaborating within and between communities across the country, we facilitate a dynamic dialogue around well-informed, tested, and scalable ideas with partners and practitioners steeped in this challenging but rewarding work.

December 1, 2021

E3 Scorecard: How Narratives Power Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Join us for our final installment of the E3 Scorecard webinar series as we explore the role of narratives in supporting equity in entrepreneurial ecosystems. We'll be joined by Anika Horn of Social Venturers and Charles Ross of InBIA to discuss unique storytelling approaches and how to effectively use metrics when doing the work of advancing ecosystem practice.

September 28, 2021

E3 Scorecard: How Networks Power Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (Part 2 - Policy & Supports)

Join us for our fourth installment of the E3 Scorecard webinar series, exploring how policy decisions can help support equity in entrepreneurial ecosystems. We were joined by Dr. Diamonte Walker, Deputy Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Pittsburgh, PA and Eric Romero, Business Development Officer for the city of Long Beach, CA to discuss various ways policymakers are testing innovative ideas to help entrepreneurs be more successful.

August 11, 2021

E3 Scorecard: How Networks Power Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
(Part 1 of 2)

Join us for our third installment of the E3 Scorecard webinar series as we explore how effective networks catalyze equity in entrepreneurial ecosystems. We'll be joined by CDFI expert Chris Cain and CEO of Chicago Trend Lyneir Richardson to discuss how Capital & Real Estate support and investments fuel community engagement with entrepreneurs.

May 12, 2021

E3 Scorecard: How Programs Power Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Join ecosystem building experts Shervonne Cherry and Enoch Elwell to discuss the powerful ways that ESOs and communities can accelerate their ecosystems through effective programming. This is the second installment in our E3 Scorecard series highlighting how four key dimensions—people, programs, networks, and narratives—are used to assess the health and equity of local entrepreneurial ecosystems through accessible onramps to launching a new business, and by clear pathways to growth in various sectors.

Forward Cities' proprietary E3 Scorecard utilizes four key metrics to assess the health and equity of local entrepreneurial ecosystems: people, programs, networks, and narratives. This webinar is the second of four that will be presented throughout 2021.

March 30, 2021

E3 Scorecard: How People Power Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Join Forward Cities as we kick off our inaugural E3 Scorecard conversation series with ecosystem building powerhouses Adam Arredondo (CEO of Startland) and Dell Gines (Senior Community Development Advisor at the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve). We will explore two powerful ways ESOs and communities can catalyze and accelerate the potential of PEOPLE in their ecosystems: through strong talent pipelines and culturally competent mentors, and by activating entrepreneurial champions and ecosystem builders to ensure equity for every entrepreneur.

Forward Cities' proprietary E3 Scorecard utilizes four key metrics to assess the health and equity of local entrepreneurial ecosystems: PEOPLE, PROGRAMS, NETWORKS, and NARRATIVES. This webinar, which focuses on the PEOPLE dimension, is the first in a four-part series that will be presented throughout 2021.

To learn more about Startland’s work to accelerate the potential of teachers and students in Kansas City metro schools and beyond check out the resources linked below:

Startland Real-World Learning

Real-World Learning Video

January 21, 2021

A Global Perspective on Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building

To jumpstart the new year, the first Promising Practices webinar features a candid conversation with Forward Cities CEO Fay Horwitt and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs Regional Chapter Manager, East Africa, Khatuchi Khasandi on the similarities and differences in approaches to building supports for healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems, regardless of geography.

October 28, 2020

A Collaborative Approach to Creating More Equitable Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Forward Cities final 2020 Promising Practices webinar featured partners from Franklin County/Columbus, OH. We'll discuss creating more equitable opportunities for every entrepreneur with Chief Operations Officer of Rev1 Ventures Kristy Campbell, Forward Cities Local Director LC Johnson, CEO and Managing Consultant with Aventi Enterprises Deonna Barnett, Small Business Concierge with the City of Columbus Henry Golatt, Managing Partner at Next Street Charisse Conanan Johnson, and Managing Associate at Next Street Joan Spirytus.

August 20, 2020

The Role of Manufacturing in Small Business Growth

Forward Cities is joined by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and member organizations Mountain BizWorks, Manufacturing Renaissance, and Made in DC for its Promising Practices webinar, The Role of Manufacturing in Small Business Growth. The conversation will explore their approaches to developing a unique cross-section of 21st century manufacturing and small business growth, through an equity lens.

The Urban Manufacturing Alliance invites you to learn more about their broad work by visiting the following links:

June 25, 2020

Promising Practices Case Study: How New Kensington, PA is partnering to spur small business growth

Join Forward Cities, CO.STARTERS, and The Corner Launchbox to explore how New Kensington, PA is an emerging corridor of innovation working to build a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem by creating alignment among public, private, and nonprofit partners.

March 31, 2020

Leading Inclusive Conversations

Join Forward Cities for a chat on the art of facilitating conversations that lead with an inclusive lens and help move communities to action through a more well-informed dialogue. With social distancing in full effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more critical than ever to ensure all perspectives are honored, voices are heard, and buy-in is had.

The webinar will be facilitated by Forward Cities’ Senior Director of Learning Networks, Brett Brenton. Featured panelists include Forward Cities’ Director of Talent Development, Shayla Herndon-Edmunds, Jamey Stowell of Delta Leadership, Inc., and Forward Cities’ Local Directors Kim Louis (New Kensington, PA) and Gabriel Muñoz (Kansas City).

Access the Facilitation Guide.

November 14, 2019

The Role of Effective Leadership in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for Innovation and Growth

Forward Cities and Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson of Virginia Commonwealth University explore the factors that shape dynamic and collaborative relationships between entrepreneurial support organizations to create more robust economic development strategies in cities.

Drawing on Dr. Harper-Anderson’s research, this vibrant conversation focuses on the importance of connection, partnership, and leadership in shaping collaborative environments in entrepreneurial ecosystems in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Richmond.

September 26, 2019

Anchor Institutions’ Contributions to Building Small Business Ecosystems

Communities around the country are increasingly recognizing the transformative economic and community-building power of Anchor Institutions (Anchors). These institutions are often an under-tapped resource that can play pivotal roles in creating and growing a prosperous economy by focusing on fostering a vibrant, inclusive small business sector.

The Anchor Institutions’ Contributions to Building Inclusive Small Business Ecosystems report was jointly developed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Forward Cities with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Read the full report.

July 25, 2019

Data Mapping the Inclusiveness of Your Local Economy

Director of National Learning Networks, Brandon Hudson, was joined by members of the Forward Cities Research Team VP of Research, Evaluation & Strategic Partnerships, Nic Gunkel, and Research Director, Sarah Thelen. Nic and Sarah demonstrated the capabilities of two dynamic research tools, the Economic Inclusion Indicators, and the Neighborhood Inclusion Compass.

Watch to discover how data mapping the inclusiveness of your local economy can help leaders in your city create innovative solutions to the challenges facing under-connected entrepreneurs.