After more than 30 years of accelerating social entrepreneurs working at the intersection of social justice and social innovation, Echoing Green knows that support at the very earliest stage is crucial, especially for leaders of color.
We know that proximate leaders are best equipped to implement solutions in their own communities. However, the barriers to finding, accessing, collecting, and sharing data on the populations social entrepreneurs of color are serving expose systemic inequities. This information helps leaders understand, resource, and fix the problems affecting community members. Without any full data sets or up-to-date numbers on policing, housing, employment, entrepreneurship, health care, and education, social entrepreneurs are having to put their advocacy and programmatic work aside in order to conduct this necessary research. Not only is this process a drain on time and resources, it also reinforces inequities around access to capital.
This report, conducted in partnership with Citi Foundation, spotlights three social entrepreneurs, the challenges they have faced in collecting research and insights, and the opportunities they foresee in leveraging data as a means toward social justice.
Our goal is to call on funders to address and examine their own mindsets, processes, and decision-making around open data, while centering the expertise and perspectives of proximate leaders of color to ensure these leaders can efficiently implement the solutions their communities want and need.