A woman stands in a warehouse in front of shelves filled with cardboard boxes

The Business Equity Fund

Growing businesses owned by people of color, strengthening communities and helping close the racial wealth gap

To create a thriving Black and Latinx entrepreneurial class that created opportunity and wealth for their communities, we must fill the gaps in access to growth capital for Black and Latinx-owned businesses.

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.

Current Status

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.

Business Equity Fund Annual Report Volume 2. Orange and yellow text reads: Coming Back Stronger. Download the report

Coming Back Stronger

In The Business Equity Fund's latest Impact Report, we are pleased to share how we have been meeting BEF's goal despite the many additional challenges posed by the pandemic, detailing what we do, our growth and impact, business financing structure, COVID-19 impact and response, and research and advocacy work.

Anthony Samuels, DRB Building Services
Anthony Samuels, Founder of DRB Building Services
Read: TBF News: Investing in Enterprises of Color

Target Businesses

The Business Equity Fund is specifically targeted to minority-owned companies with over $250,000 in annual revenue in Eastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and Northern Rhode Island, for whom a loan or equity investment of $300,000 to $500,000 would create jobs or expand operations. Loan applicants are rigorously screened by the fund managers and the BEF Investment Committee to select those businesses most able to leverage a loan or equity investment into positive outcomes. Recipients also receive ongoing support and oversight in partnership with the Business Equity Initiative. 

Fund decision makers are predominantly people of color, many of whom have experienced the problem the fund is trying to solve first hand as entrepreneurs, investors, and community advocates. Interested companies may reach out to the Boston Foundation for more information.

Together, our work will result in growing companies that create new local jobs, increase wealth creation, and foster community development.

Donating to the Business Equity Fund

The Business Equity Fund continues to grow its capital resources in support of Black- and Latinx-led businesses. Individual donors can donate by credit card through the form below. Institutional and other donors can contact Orlando Watkins to learn more about ways to support the fund.

Business Equity Fund report cover Download the report

Investing in Change

The Business Equity Fund's 2020 Investment Report provides a closer look at the Fund and its workings, and the remarkable entrepreneurs partnering with BEF to expand, create jobs and strengthen communities.