Kauffman Foundation Awards $4.3 Million in Grants to Organizations that Support Women and Minority Entrepreneurs

Nov 30, 2016Press Release


Maria Ibañez

Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet to honor the organizations’ commitment to leveling the field for women and minorities at Kauffman’s Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2016) – While startup activity in the United States is slowly rising, women and minorities consistently have lower rates of entrepreneurship. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announces grants to a dozen nonprofit entrepreneur support organizations to help remedy that. The Inclusion Challenge grant program will award funds to the selected organizations to help female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color achieve higher rates of success.

“Entrepreneurship in America should be available to everyone, yet women and minorities continue to face more obstacles to starting businesses when it comes to accessing funding, education, mentors and markets,” said Victor Hwang, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. “The Inclusion Challenge grants will enable these outstanding support organizations to expand their services to empower more entrepreneurs and help them succeed. The nation and our economy as a whole will benefit from more entrepreneurs generating income and wealth in traditionally underserved markets.”

Inclusion Challenge grant recipients are attending the Kauffman Foundation’s Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship today in St. Petersburg, Fla., where Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet of the Small Business Administration will honor the grantees’ commitment to leveling the field for women and minority entrepreneurs. The Mayors Conference theme is “Diversifying Entrepreneurial Opportunity.”

Selected from more than 376 applicants, the Inclusion Challenge grantees serve a range of sectors in 13 states from coast to coast. Grant awards range from $87,000 to $420,000 over the next two years per grantee.

The Inclusion Challenge grantees are listed below:

Association for Women in Science, Washington, D.C.

BioSTL, St. Louis, Missouri

Chicago Urban League Entrepreneurship Center, Chicago

Commons on Champa, Denver

The Company Lab, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

EforAll, Massachusetts

Kapor Center for Social Impact, Oakland, California

LAUNCH, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Meda, Minneapolis

The New School, New York

Propeller, New Orleans


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The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a global network with 80 grassroots chapters and affiliates connecting more than 100,000 professionals in STEM with members, allies and supporters worldwide. Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. To learn more, visit www.awis.org and follow us @AWISNational on Twitter and Facebook.

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