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Small businesses employ nearly half of all U.S. workers and are an important source of innovation, wealth creation, and job creation in communities across the nation. Minority-owned businesses represent a very modest share of small businesses nationwide.
As a group, minority-and women-owned businesses have more difficulty than other peer groups accessing small business credit because of the relative thinness of their credit files and lower average credit scores. They often cannot qualify for bank loans, and instead use their consumer credit cards to launch and even grow their businesses.
Small businesses serve as engines for the economy, but resources to support their expansion are limited. Project REACh focuses on collaborative efforts to build and support entrepreneurs by offering technical assistance and procurement opportunities to minority-owned businesses and minority entrepreneurs from rural and Native communities. The Project REACh Small and Minority Business Opportunity Workstream is working to:
The Small and Minority Business Workstream participants have increased investments and financing to small and minority-owned businesses by:
The Project REACh Small and Minority Business Workstream is evaluating models and strategies to improve access to capital for minority-owned and small businesses, and entrepreneurs from rural and Native communities. Current initiatives include: