Minority Entrepreneurs Find Gap Funding Through Empower WYCO Loan Fund
25 Oct 2023
News, Client Feature Article
This article originally appeared on and was written for Wyandotte Economic Development Council by Golden Shovel Agency.
Minority-owned businesses have the potential to reinvigorate economies, build up local communities, create jobs and opportunities, and close the racial wage gap. To this end, NetWork Kansas launched the Empower WYCO Fund. The Empower Fund was created to support entrepreneurs in Wyandotte County by broadening access to capital for minority-owned businesses that may not otherwise qualify for traditional funding. A multi-partner collaborative oversees the fund in the Kansas City, KS-area.
“We are excited to be a partner in the Empower WYCO Fund and believe this is another tool to increase access to funds for our minority small businesses while removing barriers to growth across Wyandotte County,” said Greg Kindle, President of Wyandotte Economic Development Council.
Broadly speaking, NetWork Kansas is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas that connects aspiring, emerging, and established businesses to a wide network of business-building resource organizations across the state, including networking partnerships, capital investment, and educational/technical assistance programming.
“The Empower WYCO fund is one of five Empower pilot programs NetWork Kansas has designed to fund underestimated minority entrepreneurs who face barriers when accessing traditional capital to start or grow their business,” said Jenn Laird, Manager, Entrepreneurship, Eastern Region - NetWork Kansas. “Since the Empower WYCO fund launched in March of 2022, 20 minority-owned businesses have received loans of up to $15,000 each. NetWork Kansas is always seeking ways to identify gaps and reduce challenges that entrepreneurs face, and equitable access to capital is one that we are attempting to fill with the Empower program.”
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Ellen Williams is a Lead Copywriter for Golden Shovel Agency. Her unique skill sets expand from the foundation of science, academia, writing/editing, and project management. She is adept at breaking down articles and information precisely and clearly to educate general and professional audiences alike. Uniquely, while she is not practicing as a doctor, she has an M.D. and a strong laboratory science background.