The Business Equity Fund at the Boston Foundation is designed to address longstanding barriers to growth financing and technical assistance that have historically limited opportunity for entrepreneurs of color.
The Fund was created in 2018 as a core component of an ecosystem to grow enterprises of color in greater Boston. That ecosystem includes the Foundation for Business Equity’s Business Equity Initiative (BEI) program, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Pacesetters Initiative, which encourages its members to work with minority-owned businesses, and the Fund. Together, they provide capacity, capital and contracts to Black and Latinx businesses to help them grow.
To date, through a competitive application process, seven businesses have received a combined total of $2.3 million in low-cost loans. The BEF has also unlocked an additional $2.8 million of more traditional capital to support another eight businesses, bringing total leveraged dollars to $5.1 million. As an evergreen loan fund, loan repayments will be returned to the Fund to be recycled into new financing and equity investments in other businesses.
The Business Equity Fund is currently actively seeking grants and contribution funding from foundations, government entities and others to broaden the pool of capital available for investment in qualified businesses.