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.

A survey of over 1,500 Black entrepreneurs showed that less than
40%
of respondents had sufficient access to mentors and supporters to help launch and scale a business
Woman Smiling Sitting At A Computer
Mentorship Matters
Mentorship can mean the difference between startups scaling or failing. A survey of tech firms in New York City found that one-third of founders who were mentored by successful entrepreneurs became leading performers - outperforming their peers by more than three to one.
Why Mentorship Matters
A survey of over 1,500 Black entrepreneurs showed that less than
40%
of respondents had sufficient access to mentors and supporters to help launch and scale a business
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.

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Nasdaq's Purpose

Nasdaq's call to build a more inclusive economy has never been stronger, nor more urgent than it is today.

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According to a survey by The UPS Store
70%
of small business owners that receive mentoring survive for five years or more – double the rate of those who do not receive mentoring
Women Laughing at Work
An Invisible Ally: How Mentors Help Founders Start and Scale Their Businesses
If a thriving entrepreneurial scene is indicative of a healthy economy, there are few areas where mentorship is more important than in the startup world.
3 Ways Mentors Help
According to a survey by The UPS Store
70%
of small business owners that receive mentoring survive for five years or more – double the rate of those who do not receive mentoring
Closing Bell Ceremony_Entrepreneurial Center_10.01.19

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center

A non-profit organization created to connect, inspire and educate entrepreneurs.

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