Five Kansas City-based organizations have joined forces to address the ongoing disparities Black entrepreneurs face.
AltCap, Generating Income For Tomorrow (GIFT), Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, equity2, and Lead Bank are partnering to support small Black-owned businesses through flexible debt and equity financing, grant funding and business advisory services.
The coalition hopes that through their partnership, Black entrepreneurs will have improved access to capital and critical resources that will help their businesses grow.
Nonprofit GIFT will provide grants and technical assistance services through the new partnership. GIFT was established to begin reversing the effects of systemic racism in the local economy by providing Black innovators a chance to fill gaps in the Kansas City urban core.
For entrepreneurs in need of expanded capital, AltCap and Lead Bank will both provide flexible loan financing, as well as help support GIFT’s coaching and technical assistance services.
“Unfortunately, many Black entrepreneurs are left out of the financial mainstream when it comes to business financing,” said Ruben Alonso III, president of AltCap. “This partnership is an opportunity to provide accessible, impact and growth-focused capital throughout the lifecycle of a Black-owned business: from a grant to a microloan to a business banking relationship, and even a potential equity investment.”
Josh Rowland, CEO and vice-chairman of Lead Bank said, “An integral part of Lead Bank’s strategy is meeting the financing needs of businesses and people whom the banking industry has traditionally underserved. Lead Bank is committed to finding responsible ways to provide high-quality financial services for Black and Brown entrepreneurs in Kansas City. Our partnership with GIFT, AltCap, and equity2 is a step in the right direction.”
Equity investments will also be provided by a local impact investing firm and AltCap affiliate organization equity2.
“Building a more equitable regional economy isn’t an abstract concept. This partnership means that more Black-owned businesses will have a pathway to accessing friendly equity investment capital. It also means that impact investors who want to take some of what’s sitting on Wall Street and put it to work in their community can easily do that,” said Emily Lecuyer, Managing Director of equity2.
Entrepreneurs in the Kansas City region who are interested in accessing capital, coaching, and other technical assistance services, should visit www.kansascitygift.org.