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Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Incubator

The EE Incubator is looking to empower credit unions to become effective ecosystem builders, fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth within their communities.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Incubator Details

As the Small Business Administration reveals that half of new small businesses face closure within the initial 5 years, the imperative of access to credit becomes even more pronounced. It becomes evident that knowing how to run a business is as critical as obtaining credit. Compounding this challenge, minority business owners are disproportionately discouraged from applying for credit (29.5%) compared to their non-minority counterparts (15.8%). This disparity underscores the urgency for credit unions to bridge this gap, not only by providing financial support but also by fostering an environment that addresses the multifaceted challenges faced by entrepreneurs, ensuring their sustained success.

The EE Incubator is looking to empower credit unions to become effective ecosystem builders, fostering entrepreneurship and economic growth within their communities. Through a learning journey facilitated by Filene and Bridge for Billions, credit unions will gain the knowledge and tools needed to support local entrepreneurs effectively. This transformative project aims to empower early-stage entrepreneurs and small business owners to enhance collaboration between credit unions and various ecosystem stakeholders, refine measurement tools, and establish sustainable models for ecosystem building that can be applied nationwide.

Be a Part of the EE Incubator

Over the span of the upcoming 10 months, we're arranging a unique dual path learning initiative, inviting both credit union leaders and local entrepreneurs. Handpicked entrepreneurs from your community will receive dedicated mentorship via the Bridge for Billions program. Simultaneously, credit unions will glean invaluable insights from the firsthand experiences shared by these participating entrepreneurs, fostering reciprocal learning and growth.

By participating in the EE, credit unions will:

  • Become part of a learning community with partnerships across the country, gaining a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem building principles, strategies, and best practices.
  • Receive resources to support the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems (e.g., access to ecosystem building experts, Filene technical assistance for execution and evaluation).
  • Have supported a cohort of entrepreneurs within their communities and strengthened their role as catalysts for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs within the program will have to produce well-crafted Executive Summaries for their ventures.

Some of the questions we will answer include:

  • What are the barriers preventing credit unions from establishing strong ties with local entrepreneurial ecosystems?
  • What strategies can credit unions adopt to bridge the gap between their services and the needs of entrepreneurs, particularly those from underserved backgrounds?
  • What impact can collaborative partnerships and ecosystem-building efforts have on both credit unions and the communities they serve?

We recognize the effectiveness of collaborative partnerships and co-designing solutions alongside our communities. This approach offers us a powerful opportunity to profoundly impact our served communities, driving not only economic wealth but also fostering profound social change.

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