University of Wisconsin–Madison

Advancing Racial Equity in the City of Oakland's Small Business Ecosystem

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2019
Level City or Town
State(s) California
Policy Areas Civil Rights, Economic Justice
For small business owners of color, entrepreneurship remains a critical wealth-building tool providing a pathway to self-determination and the middle class. In Oakland and nationally, entrepreneurs of color face significant barriers in starting and scaling their business due to the racial wealth gap, among other barriers.The city of Oakland knows the unique barriers its residents and entrepreneurs of color face. It released a 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy with a racial equity lens, and a notable goal is to shrink the racial wealth gap through asset building in local communities of color. To support the city’s 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy, The Greenlining Institute assembled a Small Business Advisory Group comprised of local small business leaders committed to advancing the needs of Oakland’s entrepreneurs of color. With this white paper, the SBAG provides the city a menu of recommendations to achieve the ambitious racial equity and small business goals included in its 2018-2020 Economic Development Strategy. This white paper includes specific recommendations for the city to foster a healthy and more inclusive small business ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs of color to thrive.

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