2021 Grants Challenge

Creating a New Ecosystem So Male Entrepreneurs of Color Can Thrive

The Global Eye Entrepreneurs Fellowship Program brings together a cohort of BIPOC and GBTQ Men of color with new business ideas and provides a comprehensive array of programming that facilities both personal and professional growth and creates a network of support and mentorship from industry leaders that, combined with linkages to capital, result in successful, thriving business. Currently in the pilot phase with the first class of entrepreneurs, Global Eye is looking to solidify and expand the programming based on its results.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Despite recent progress, BIPOC, women and LGBTQ founders are underrepresented in the entrepreneur community. More than half of companies that have black owners were turned down for loans, a rate twice as high as white business owners. While men of color are 80% more likely to be entrepreneurial than their white counterparts, only 5% ever make it past the start-up phase. There’s an entire community of BIPOC and GBTQ men with world changing ideas who feel called to a life of deep purpose, alignment, and success, yet they face discouragement at every turn. The COVID crisis has only served to exacerbate these inequities with inequities in distribution of PPP loans. Global Eye imagines a world where the business ventures, ideas, companies, and inventions of these men exist and thrive. At its core, Global Eye is a community of support, mentorship, and learning to help male and non-binary entrepreneurs of color realize their deepest, most audacious visions.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Global Eye is creating a new type of ecosystem where male entrepreneurs of color have access to role models, mentors, and capital so they can thrive. It provides a platform where the next generation of entrepreneurs are more aware, conscious of corporate social responsibility, eager to give back to their communities, and accepting of differences and diverse backgrounds. The cornerstone of its offerings is the 10-month Fellowship Program. The applicants selected as fellows have already taken the first steps in their entrepreneurial journey. They have a start-up business that is less than three years old in the following industries: Arts & Entertainment, Technology, Online Retail, and Social Enterprises. Each has experienced barriers to starting or growing their business. The program provides insight and instruction in these and other areas: - Financial Literacy & Wellness - Product Development - Market Research & Business Model Design - Accounting - Human Resource Management and Organization Design - Branding & Marketing - Business Plan Writing - Funding, Pitching, and Investor Consults - Access to Venture Capital Opportunities Ideas are a dime a dozen--we invest in people, specifically male entrepreneurs of color that pursue their passions; implement and lead; create thriving teams; meet their measure; and fulfill their dreams. The world is full of ideas and businesses; we unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of BIPOC and GBTQ men of color. We invest in people, not just ideas.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 15

Indirect Impact: 1,100

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

While the overall wealth of US families increased over the last 30 years, the wealth gap continues to grow for black families and other underrepresented groups. Institutionalized factors like family income, savings, and home ownership coupled with below average lending rates impact the ability of BIPOC business owners to succeed. This lack of access to investors and mentor networks costs the U.S. economy dollars and jobs—about $1.5 trillion per year. Average business development programs do not focus on—nor understand—the unique challenges faced by entrepreneurs of color. That’s why the work of Global Eye is so important. Investing in these emerging business leaders makes LA a better place because of: Closing of the wealth gap Increased employment opportunities Equitable distribution of investment capital Creation of pipelines for the next generation of entrepreneurs Increased tax base for our communities Expanding hope and success for BIPCO and GBTQ men of color

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Success for the fellows in the program is measured by: • Increase in the size of the professional networks developed. • Number of connections to capital per fellow • Percentage of fellows receiving investment capital • Increase in wellness scores across pre- and post-program social-emotional indicator assessments • Increase in business confidence and proficiency scores from pre- and post-program assessments and surveys • Ratings of the effectiveness of the instructors • Program completion rate Longitudinal measures include: • Fellows continue succeeding beyond the three-year average for closures • Fellows reach breakeven/profitability • Increase in number of people employed by fellows • Increase in fellowship class size • Thriving alumni network contributing to the program and becoming mentors • Long-term social-emotional indicators remain positive • Additional businesses or product/service ideas brought to market by program fellows • Reinvestment in new entrepreneurs and fellows

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

Venture capital investment

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to CONNECT