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Coalition Roundup: March 22, 2021

As the country grapples with the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice, there’s been a greater awareness about diversity and inclusion in all parts of the American economy. This has increased the focus on systemic barriers that have hampered Black-owned businesses across the country, including redlining, decreased access to capital, underfunded infrastructure, and more.

We’ve also seen a greater awareness about addressing economic inequities for everyone, including the importance of reaching out to young people in underserved communities and helping lower-income Americans become more financially stable.

Podcast Discusses Obstacles to Entrepreneurship with 5 Black Business Owners
To put a face on the difficulties of entrepreneurship among Black-owned businesses, Bunker Labs’ “The Transition” podcast spoke with five Black veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs in various industries, including technology, consumer package goods, and urban farming. The group discusses major setbacks, including a hurricane that took out a business, COVID-19-induced pivots, financial wins and losses, and quests to diversify and energize their respective industries.

Greater Focus on Diversity Must Include Outreach to Youth
Today’s increased focus on diverse entrepreneurs is beneficial, Marcus Pope writes at Living Cities, but must include outreach to young people to get them involved in entrepreneurship at an early age. “We are seeing rich diversity among our youth cohorts and in order to promote equity in our state, we need to uplift young people in a deep way and prepare them to lead today and into the future,” writes Pope, the vice president of Youthprise, a Twin Cities–based group that focuses on youth leadership development.

Economic Innovation Group Speaks Before Congress About Wealth Inequity
John Lettieri, president and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group, testified before the Senate Budget Committee at hearing on income and wealth inequality in America. Noting that the bottom 50% of the American public has no money set aside for retirement, Lettieri raised the importance of policies that help Americans save and build wealth. He also discussed the importance of policies, like noncompete reform, that boost economic dynamism and create more opportunities for Americans to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.

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