The face of entrepreneurship is changing across the nation, and so is the wardrobe. The hoodie has its place, but the next wave of entrepreneurship is likely to be making strides in heels. 

The innovation economy has long been dominated by younger white men coming from the Ivy Leagues. The hoodie has its place, but the next wave of entrepreneurship is likely to be making strides in heels and led by a far more diverse cross-section of leaders coming from all walks of life.

Women and entrepreneurs of color are fueling economic growth, creating new jobs and improving economic opportunities for communities. African Americans make up the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US. And women-backed startups have yielded multi-million dollar venture capital investment rounds.

This is the new world of inclusive entrepreneurship, a targeted approach to help unleash the untapped potential and economic power of a much larger pool of innovators. The Case Foundation said it’s upping it already significant contribution to level the playing field for entrepreneurs everywhere.

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“Our efforts to support entrepreneurs and the role they play in driving innovation and job growth in the US and around the world have certainly been rewarding. But in the past year, we began to ask ourselves whether the full potential of entrepreneurial talent is being put to work on pressing local, national and global problems. And, in particular, how the playing field can be leveled for underrepresented communities – including women and people of color – to become entrepreneurs and grow thriving businesses,” the organization’s website states.

As part of its expanded support for inclusive entrepreneurship, The Case Foundation is hosting two sessions of the #InclusiveAmerica National Associational of Black Journalists’ Learning Lab powered by ScaleUp Partners on Aug. 3 in Washington D.C.

Sheila Herrling, Senior VP for Social Innovation, will interview Kathryn Finney, Founder, CEO, Digital Undivided and Alejandra Castillo, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency.

Then a panel of experts will explore the question, “Am I an entrepreneur? Challenging the Stereotypes. ”

Sarah Koch, Vice President of Social innovation, will moderate a panel that includes, Derek T. Dingle, Chief Content Officer, Black Enterprise magazineLaura Weidman Powers, Co-founder and CEO of CODE2040, and Lilibeth Gangas, Chief Tech Community Officer, Kapor Center for Social Impact.

 

 

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