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The Initiative for Inclusive Entrepreneurship:

A Collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Treasury 


Announced in October 2022 by Vice President Kamala Harris, the Initiative for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (IIE) is a new $100 million national effort to expand access to capital for small businesses owned by people of color. 


Led and incubated by Hyphen, IIE seeks to harness the power of public-private collaboration to ensure that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s $10 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) strengthens the small business ecosystem and advances racial equity. 


IIE provides a unique opportunity for philanthropy and private capital providers to invest in small businesses of color at scale. By funding programs that center equity and inclusion, IIE will increase the availability of patient capital and financial products through inclusive delivery partners designed to serve entrepreneurs of color at varying stages of business growth––from start-up to medium- and high-growth. 


Pursuing an integrated, three-pronged approach, IIE will: (1) make grants to build capacity among community lenders and fund managers focused on reaching entrepreneurs of color; (2) deploy philanthropic and private investment capital to leverage SSBCI funding; and (3) serve as a centralized hub and community of practice to enable collaboration among key stakeholders, address gaps and needs, and share best practices.


Funders interested in learning more about IIE should contact the Hyphen Team for additional information. 


See Hyphen’s Media and Resources page for press coverage about IIE, including coverage by Axios and the NYT Dealbook.


“The State Small Business Credit Initiative has made an historic investment in entrepreneurship and innovation that is structured to ensure communities of color, rural areas, and others that have difficulty accessing capital, are able to get the financing they need to grow and scale.  Partnerships between states, private sector, philanthropy, and nonprofits will be critical to the Initiative’s continued success.” 

–– Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury (as quoted in Hyphen’s press release)

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