Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3) a new program dedicated to leveling the playing field in Delaware, was announced over the summer, highlighting two missions: to help small businesses recover from the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to foster racial equity in Wilmington, a city where Black and brown business owners continue to struggle to find resources, contracts and funding. The program is a collaboration between Barclays US Consumer Bank, Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Wilmington Alliance.
“Entrepreneurship is a critical dimension of Delaware’s recovery from the COVID recession — particularly for Black and Brown leaders,” said Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Wilmington Alliance Board Member Thère du Pont in a statement.
The first three small business who will receive coaching, mentoring and comprehensive resource support services via E3 have been announced:
- NERDiT Now, a mobile device repair company, which was recently won the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation’s prestigious Reinventing Delaware challenge for 2020
- Kpellé.Designs, a handcrafted jewelry and hair accessory design company
- Spekciton Biosciences, a biotech company that measures the health of indoor crops
Each of the selected participants underwent an intense assessment process led by Social Contract. The assessment reports will be used to design customized plans for each of the businesses by leveraging E3 program partners from Delaware’s private and public sectors to meet their identified needs. The selected participants will receive entrepreneurial resource support across five key entrepreneurial lifecycle focus areas:
- Coaching and business planning
- Marketing and promotion
- Information technology and infrastructure
- Space Planning and design
- Access to funding sources
“The Alliance views entrepreneurship as a key path to prosperity and building economic mobility,” said Wilmington Alliance CEO Renata Kowalczyk. “I am so proud of the work we are doing to make this path more accessible and equitable for everyone. We look forward to working with the three selected businesses as they partake on this exciting E3 Wilmington journey.”
The goal of E3 is to continually feed entrepreneurs into pipelines that provide access to resources and business connections needed to accelerate new and growing businesses. Once the program is successfully completed, each business will receive $5,000 each from New Castle County Government and County Executive Matt Meyer, as well as Barclay’s subsidized funding support for their continued growth.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses are the heart of our communities and it’s important that we support them as we recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Jennifer Cho, head of citizenship for Barclays US Consumer Bank.
If you’re interested in applying for E3 or becoming a partner or a sponsor, go to petedupontfreedomfoundation.org/e3.-30-