According to Entrepreneur magazine, minorities own about 15 percent of all U.S. businesses. Of those 15 percent, nearly half are in the services industry. Last week Google announced it’s donating $775,000 to increase the percent of minority-owned businesses, specifically in the technology industry, through Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programs. Where is the money going and who can benefit?
Google is donating the money to a San Francisco-based nonprofit called CODE2040, who is facilitating the EIRs. The nonprofit focuses on cultivating entrepreneurs in the technology field among underrepresented minorities, with a special focus on African-Americans and Hispanics. The name comes from estimates that indicate by 2040 minorities will make up the majority of America. CODE2040’s goal is to make sure by that year minorities are adequately represented as entrepreneurs, especially in the technology industry. CODE2040 Residency Director Jason Towns says the nonprofit’s aim is “to support the development of diverse entrepreneurial ecosystems nationwide.”
Helping Around the Country
While based in San Francisco, CODE2040 helps cities around the country establish programs centered around minorities in entrepreneurship. One program is at Chicago’s 1871, an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups in the city. One minority entrepreneur will be selected to get one year at 1871, $40,000 in seed capital, a training trip to the Googleplex in Silicon Valley, networking opportunities and mentoring with Google and CODE2040 representatives, and many other resources. Google’s funds are also establishing similar programs at the American Underground in Durham, North Carolina and the Capital Factory in Austin, Texas.
Entrepreneurs can apply through CODE2040. Applicants must be African-American or Hispanic and live in the city hosting the EIR. They must be the founder of an early stage technology company and have a specific desire to reshape the racial and ethnic dynamic of the technology sector.