Philanthropy starts at home, and T. Rowe Price is committed to investing in the community that it’s a part of. As an investment firm, T. Rowe Price understands how important access to resources and tools can be to the success of any business. Historically, entrepreneurs from underserved communities have had less access to funding that could take their businesses to the next level. Through its foundation, T. Rowe Price is implementing ways to close the gap in the investment space.
Since 2015, the T. Rowe Price Foundation has prioritized and refined how to incorporate equitable philanthropy practices in all areas of its work. This work comes to life as the Foundation makes philanthropic investments to support organizations that uplift communities of color and advance race-forward and equity-based programming.
Business and Entrepreneurship
No matter the size, every business deserves the chance to make its mark on the world. Solving problems and responding to culture has been the nucleus of entrepreneurship. However, with an unbalanced playing field, it’s been increasingly difficult for a minority-owned business to have its big idea thrive in the ways it was envisioned. Thus, T. Rowe Price has supported several causes that support local business owners in their funding efforts.
- KIVA: Launched in 2005, KIVA is the world’s first person-to-person microlending website. As a nonprofit organization, KIVA underwrites zero interest and zero-fee business loans up to $15,000 and facilitates crowdfunding for interested applicants. To support this work, the T. Rowe Price Foundation has contributed $256K in grant funds aimed to enable the launch of KIVA Baltimore. Currently, 61% of local KIVA borrowers are women entrepreneurs and 69% are entrepreneurs of color.
- Elevation Awards: T. Rowe Price Foundation founded the Elevation Awards to support early-stage social entrepreneurs and community leaders in Baltimore. The Awards provide grants of $10,000 and personalized support to people of color who are Baltimore City residents and piloting novel approaches to strengthen their communities.
Additional support for minority businesses and entrepreneurs is given through CLLCTIVLY, a developing online space that will serve as an online skills bank and community network, and Moonshot, an initiative that connects the T. Rowe Price community with innovators and entrepreneurs of color in Baltimore City who share the common goals of advancing social good and racial equity.
Understanding the Dollars
As an investment firm, T. Rowe Price wants to do more than just be a part of the funding process. The organization desires to see each up-and-coming business understand how to utilize funding that supports the longevity of their business.
It’s using initiatives like the BMORE CoLab, a T. Rowe Price-donated collaboration space, to assist local nonprofits — including CASH Campaign of Maryland, Innovation Works, Mission Launch and KIVA Baltimore — with programs focused on empowering entrepreneurship, removing barriers and advancing financial well-being in Baltimore.
Impact and Residual Change
Advancing equity can take many forms, but for T. Rowe Price, it’s about leveling the playing field and putting the dollars into the community where it counts. As a part of its $1.5M investment in funding equity initiatives, T. Rowe Price developed racial equity grants that are primarily focused on economic development and advancement for communities of color.
- Change Machine: Grant funds will support Change Machine’s financial coaching platform, which is utilized primarily by POC-led social service organizations with the goal to contribute to lasting economic change in disinvested communities.
- CASH Campaign of Maryland: Understanding the disparity in health care for underserved communities, CASH Campaign partners with local hospitals that primarily serve communities of color. The organization and its partners will provide coaching and other financial well-being services to constituents by leveraging existing relationships between families and their doctors and hospital networks.
- Black Business Initiative: Grant funds will support the development of a one-stop, online central hub for small businesses, micro-businesses and entrepreneurs of color that offers incubation, education, networking and resources in the Baltimore and Colorado Springs area.
- Baltimore Corps: A longstanding partner, Baltimore Corps will utilize funds for Entrepreneur in Residence, a new program to support social innovators of color who are creating community development solutions to address disinvestment in communities of color. Residents will receive financial support and other mentor and technical resources from T. Rowe Price.
Breaking down barriers and shifting systemic norms is no easy feat, but it’s not a task that T. Rowe Price shies away from. From equity-focused organizations to art and culture programs that push Baltimore culture forward, T. Rowe Price is dedicated to the work of advancing equity and changing the game for generations to come.
Visit here to learn more about the T. Rowe Price Foundation and the impactful work it’s doing in Baltimore communities.