Ernst & Young LLP just announced their inaugural cohort for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN).
According to PR Newswire, the comprehensive, business accelerator — which operates as an executive-level educational program to elevate scalable companies — will include entrepreneurs in 10 markets across the U.S. giving companies access to resources, networks, and mentors.
“Deep-rooted systemic challenges hinder many minority-owned businesses from achieving their full potential, an issue that was exacerbated this year,” said EY Americas Vice Chair of Accounts, Sam Johnson, in a press release. “Through EAN, our goal is to provide Black and Latinx founders with the necessary support to sustainably scale their businesses and drive economic growth. Without equitable access, the future of many Black and Latinx-owned businesses — and millions of jobs — hangs in the balance.”
According to the press release, only 1 percent of venture capital dollars go to Black and Latinx founders, “despite the fact that minority-owned businesses produced approximately US$700b in revenue in 2019 alone.”
Although the proof is in the numbers, minority entrepreneurs still lack funding and support.
“Minority entrepreneurs receive so little support, even though they show immense revenue potential,” said Nit Reeder, EY EAN Director, in a statement.”But closing this gap requires more than capital alone. EAN is not a ‘fund and forget’ program. Our curriculum provides tools and access to an ecosystem.”
The 12-month curated program by EAN includes a customized learned plan based on the needs and maturity of the company, a company assessment, and a relationship that’s in alignment with a dedicated EY relationship advisor. Participants will also receive both hands-on and indirect guidance like support in upskilling employees, helping boards and expanding professional networks, guidance in digital transformation, and more.
Now that more places are providing resources for entrepreneurs who look like us, the hope is that minority-owned businesses be given the same opportunities as their white counterparts.