A woman of color standing behind a glass door, smiling as she hangs up an "open" sign.

Public Event

Unleashing the Potential of Entrepreneurs of Color in Massachusetts

A Blueprint for Economic Growth and Equitable Recovery


March 30, 2021

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM



In the years just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs of color launched an increasing number of small businesses across the commonwealth, invigorating regional economies and building local wealth. Then the pandemic arrived and hit these fragile young businesses disproportionately hard. To achieve a more equitable economy post-COVID, we will need more robust entrepreneurial ecosystems to cultivate businesses owned by people of color. 
On March 30th, join MassINC, the Coalition for an Equitable Economy and the Boston Foundation (TBF) as we map out the tools, resources and commitments necessary to achieve racial and ethnic parity in business ownership by the end of the decade. We’ll spotlight findings from a new MassINC report, Unleashing the Potential of Entrepreneurs of Color in Massachusetts, hear from leaders and small business owners about how we can come together to help more people of color achieve their business aspirations, and celebrate the launch of a new coalition that will bring groups together across sectors to support the growth of inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the Commonwealth.

This report is the first part of a research series by the Coalition for an Equitable Economy that supports the advancement of an equitable and inclusive ecosystem for entrepreneurs of color in the Commonwealth.  A second report, entitled “The Color of the Capital Gap,” will be released by Boston Indicators in May. It will explore the disparities in access to capital among businesses of color and propose bold solutions to close the gap.


Welcome & Opening Remarks
Betty Francisco, Co-Founder, Amplify Latinx and Latina Circle; General Counsel, Compass Working Capital
Board of Directors, The Boston Foundation;

Presentation of Report
Ben Forman, Research Director, MassINC

Remarks on Report
Mike Kennealy, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A
JocCole "JC" BurtonFounder & CEO, Maven Construction
Jay CandelarioOwner , Jay's Bed and Breakfast
Betty Francisco, Co-Founder, Amplify Latinx and Latina Circle; General Counsel, Compass Working Capital; 
Board of Directors, The Boston Foundation (Moderator)
Nia GraceOwner and Operator , Darryl’s Corner Bar and KitchenCo-Founder Boston Black Hospitality Coalition
Glynn Lloyd, Executive Director, The Foundation for Business Equity
Corean Reynolds, Program Officer for Economic Development, The Boston Foundation

Closing Remarks
Representative Antonio F. D. Cabral, 13th Bristol District, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Senator Eric Lesser, First Hampden & Hampshire District,  Massachusetts Senate

For additional information, or to register by phone or email, please contact Michelle Hinkle at: