While BIPOC-owned small businesses are some of the fastest-growing companies in Colorado, they were also disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

People of color have made an indelible impact on the small business landscape across our country. Their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and service in building up and supporting their local communities serve as an example for all. Faced with the most extreme barriers to market entry, their resilience has sustained their businesses through fluctuations in economic conditions. The COVID-19 epidemic has disproportionately led to closures of nearly 50% of these businesses. Energize Colorado is taking action to holistically address the specific issues impacting BIPOC-owned small business across the state of Colorado.

$4M in Funding for Colorado’s Minority-Owned Businesses

Colorado needs diverse business owners. COVID-19 slowed, but it did not stop the entrepreneurial spirit of Colorado’s most diverse small businesses. Minority business owners in Colorado face unique challenges that their majority counterparts often do not experience. The state has allocated $4 million for use by the Minority Business Office in the Colorado Office of Economic Development to help BIPOC small-business owners reclaim their dream.

21%

OF ALL COLORADO FIRMS ARE MINORITY OWNED

150K

MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES IN CO

OUR GOALS

With a focus on initiatives that strengthen BIPOC small businesses, we are committed to improving access to capital, mentorship and training opportunities, and connections to ecosystem partners that will help them thrive. Provide meaningful support to small businesses who have been hit the hardest by the economic impact of the pandemic. We seek to shed a spotlight on Black entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, and to motivate partner organizations to keep investing in them. Promote resilience and advance equity within Colorado’s BIPOC business community. Advocate and partner in the struggle to keep BIPOC businesses alive.

DID YOU KNOW?

Inequity is not in your head, it’s real: Access to capital for minority-owned businesses lags behind majority-owned businesses across Colorado and all over the country.

40%

The number of working Black business owners fell 40%, far more than other groups amid due to the COVID-19 pandemic

DID YOU KNOW?

Procurement is changing. Colorado is modernizing its State Procurement Code. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) operates the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and has set the most ambitious DBE contract goals in the state.

RESOURCES FOR BIPOC-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS

Get Financial Support
 

Get the help you need to reopen, stay open, and scale your business. Learn about the financial resources available through Energize Colorado, the government, and private agencies.

 
Consumer Confidence Campaign
 

The little blue engine that could Can Do Colorado acknowledges and applauds all of the creative business people and employees who have worked tirelessly to reopen, practice guidelines to keep everyone safe, and turn can’ts into can dos! Learn more about Can Do Colorado here.

 
Mental Health Support
 

Don’t shy away from support during these unnerving times. Our resources are designed to support people along a range of experiences: those feeling uncomfortable in these new circumstances, those facing immediate challenges, and those in crisis. We offer wellness resources, group courses, and access to free therapy, as well as crisis information.

 
Get Involved
 

Join the Energize Colorado team and energize your community Energize Colorado was founded by a spirited group of individuals with the same idea “I want to help, what can I do?” With the support of our incredible and diverse volunteers, Energize Colorado has been able to support the small business economy throughout the pandemic and …

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BIPOC-owned Businesses
 

BIPOC entrepreneurs – the State of Colorado has funding to help you during COVID-19 Minority Businesses are some the fastest growing businesses in Colorado, however BIPOC businesses were the most impacted by COVID-19 business shutdowns. Colorado needs diverse business owners. COVID-19 Slowed but did not stop the entrepreneurial spirit of Colorado’s most diverse leaders. Minority …

BIPOC-owned Businesses Read More »

 
Energize Colorado Mentor Network
 

Get advice you need from experts across a range of industries and areas of expertise. You’re working hard to adapt to economic changes. You don’t want to just survive, you want your business to thrive. Don’t go it alone – Mentors can support you by sharing their experience, brainstorming ideas, providing insights, identifying resources and …

Energize Colorado Mentor Network Read More »

 
Events
 

Virtual and In-Person Events Explore our Events page to learn about happenings at Energize Colorado and elsewhere for the latest webinars, meetups, and more! Click here to explore the Events page.

 
Apply for a $500 micro investment from the Doonie Fund.
 

Micro investments for black women entrepreneurs Who’s eligible: Black women entrepreneurs What it is: The Doonie Fund makes micro investments of $500 in Black women entrepreneurs. Since its inception on April 5, 2020, the fund has invested in over 500 black women entrepreneurs. Take action: Learn more about the fund and apply on its website. …

Apply for a $500 micro investment from the Doonie Fund. Read More »

 
$200 grant from the Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund
 

BIPOC employees in the arts whose job was impacted due to COVID-19 Who’s eligible: Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) who are pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. What it is: Arts Administrators of Color Network has set up the Arts Leaders of Color …

$200 grant from the Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund Read More »

 
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund $10,000 grant
 

Grants for women and the BIPOC communities Who’s eligible: Entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses, and other enterprises in historically underserved communities that are facing immediate financial pressure due to COVID-19 What it is: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is providing $10,000 grants based on availability and eligibility. The grant can be used for rent, payroll, debt to …

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund $10,000 grant Read More »

 
COVID-19 Business for All Grant for up to $50,000
 

Grants for women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, military-connected, and people with disabilities Who’s eligible: Entrepreneurs and small business owners in the U.S. What it is: Fifteen Business for All Grants, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, will be awarded to small businesses that need support to scale. At least 11 of the 15 available grants will go to women, people …

COVID-19 Business for All Grant for up to $50,000 Read More »

 
Financial assistance for small businesses owned by women, people of color, and immigrants
 

Support funds for businesses owned by women, BIPOC, or immigrants Who’s eligible: Small businesses owned by women, people of color, and immigrants. What it is: Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund can provide you with immediate relief if you’re a struggling self-employed, small business owner. The fund aims to provide loan payment relief, affordable capital, and expert …

Financial assistance for small businesses owned by women, people of color, and immigrants Read More »

 
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VOLUNTEERS ARE THE ENGINE OF ENERGIZE COLORADO

We have an active group of 100 volunteers across the state. We’re building a better, more equitable future together.

Small Business Owner

Michael Nguyen is Co-Founder and CEO at Arcana Capital Group Inc and serves as an Energize Colorado volunteer.

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