Move Your Community Forward

Forward Cities offers a number of opportunities to move your community forward. 


Long-term engagements including the E3 Accelerator bring together our in-depth expertise in equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem building and community-led strategic planning to create actionable plans specific to your community. For cities striving to strengthen their local entrepreneurial ecosystems and accelerate their small business recovery in the wake of COVID—particularly for businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and persistent inequities—Forward Cities has developed a six-month E3 Accelerator engagement.

Photo of New Kensington, PAOur E3 Region initiative was piloted in our home state of North Carolina through an initiative called InnovateNC with work currently expanding across Ohio.

The E3 Ohio initiative, made possible by Huntington Bank, is helping five participating cities better understand the current health of their equitable entrepreneurial economies and begin to develop prioritized strategies that leverage the historic resilience within their local communities of color to meet the evolving needs of existing and emerging and established Black and Latinx owned small businesses. They are doing so in a fashion that allows for parallel learning and understanding, helping to ensure a real-time sharing of best practices and stronger connectivity with cities experiencing common challenges.

By working across a region or state, we are more adept at discovering opportunities to break down the urban-rural divide, leverage regional/state funding, and foster shared learning and collaboration.

Our research and evaluation team specializes in customizing data analysis to identify gaps in the ecosystem and opportunities for nurturing trust, connection, and collaboration. 

Our National Learning Network is designed to create opportunities for shared learning and collaboration. Participants join a cross-city, cross-sector group of practitioners, policymakers, and ecosystem builders interested in sharing best practices and learning across communities. The culmination of the National Learning Network is the annual Forward Cities conference. The 2021 conference will be held in June in Franklin County/Columbus, OH.

ABIDE embodies Forward Cities’ organizational commitment to cultivating a culture of access, belonging, inclusion, diversity, and equity (ABIDE) and through our proprietary training we equip entrepreneurial support organizations and cross-sector entrepreneurial ecosystem stakeholders within communities with foundational knowledge and skills to better understand and address systemic issues that lead to inequity. To learn more about how to bring these opportunities to your city please contact us.