Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Unleashing the full potential of all entrepreneurs - particularly women and people of color - by ensuring equal access to opportunity

From unconscious biases to chronic underfunding, there are deep societal disparities that undermine the growth and potential of entrepreneurs of color. At Nasdaq, we recognize that we are uniquely positioned to help build an inclusive economy that advances growth and prosperity for all. Through our Purpose Initiative and the world-class resources and mentorship available through the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, we are providing entrepreneurs of all backgrounds with the tools they need to succeed and thrive. 

3 Pillars of Entrepreneurial Success

Access to Networks

In order to succeed, minority entrepreneurs need equal access to high-quality mentorship, education, and early career opportunities. Inclusive entrepreneurship helps dismantle structural disadvantages that have prevented minority entrepreneurs from building relationships critical to their future.

Access to Capital

More than half of Black-owned companies have their loan applications rejected – twice the rate of white-owned companies. To reverse this trend, the marketplace has opened up a number of innovative, scalable solutions to increase the flow of growth capital to minority entrepreneurs, including startup accelerators and incubators.

Access to Markets

Due to difficulties penetrating mainstream markets, many minority-owned startups only serve minority communities, hindering their ability to scale. New strategies have emerged to facilitate direct access to new markets through public procurement programs and infrastructures that help consumers connect directly with minority-owned businesses.

Stories of Founders and Mentors: In Their Own Words

In September 2020, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center designed a Mentorship Circle for 12 early-stage Black founders and entrepreneurs. The program sought to solve their most-pressing problems alongside industry expert mentors. A community of entrepreneurs and mentors was formed, each offering invaluable experience and expertise. Their stories of success and struggle – at once unique and universal – follow below.