With support from the Citi Foundation, Echoing Green is expanding its work with leaders who represent and work with communities of color through the Inclusive Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.
New York, Sept. 21, 2020—Echoing Green today announced it is partnering with the Citi Foundation to expand their joint effort to support social change leaders, with an emphasis on supporting leaders directly impacting communities of color across the U.S.
The Inclusive Social Entrepreneurship Initiative will accelerate leaders of color and leaders who represent communities of color by providing financial and leadership development support, creating visibility opportunities to amplify their voices and stories, and connecting them to Citi employee volunteers for advising and mentorship. As leaders in the funding space, Echoing Green and the Citi Foundation will continue supporting impact on the ground, while applying shared learnings around supporting inclusive entrepreneurship, and calling for more funders to support leaders and communities of color.
The Initiative, anchored and funded by Citi Foundation, harnesses Citi employee volunteers, Echoing Green’s network of social entrepreneurs, and leaders from dozens of corporations, foundations, and organizations committed to advancing equity in the social entrepreneurship field.
Since 2018, Citi Foundation has directly invested $2.5 million in emerging leaders of color; leveraged nearly 350 Citi employee volunteers and more than 3,000 hours to provide technical support to these leaders; and helped convene nearly 300 stakeholders to share insights and learnings on building a supportive ecosystem for leaders and communities of color. By providing technical advising, sharing insights on the barriers and opportunities encountered by entrepreneurs of color in the U.S., and convening key partners to address inclusion in the social entrepreneurship field, the Initiative will create more in-roads for social entrepreneurs of color and innovative solutions impacting communities and young people of color across the U.S.
The program is part of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, which invests in programs that help young people, ages 16–24, pursue their career and economic ambitions by connecting them to on-ramps to opportunity.
“The Citi Foundation is proud to continue supporting front-line leaders who are serving their communities by creating a more inclusive social entrepreneurship sector with Echoing Green, as part of our Pathways to Progress initiative,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “As communities of color cope with the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical that we support these community leaders to create more economic opportunities and build towards a more equitable future.”
The Inclusive Social Entrepreneurship Initiative builds off Echoing Green’s long-time efforts reducing inequities for leaders of color. This partnership announcement follows the release of a research report authored by Echoing Green and The Bridgespan Group, “Racial Equity and Philanthropy: Disparities in Funding for Leaders of Color Leave Impact on the Table” and the launch of Echoing Green’s Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund.
“Our continued partnership with the Citi Foundation indicates how critical it is to support leaders who deeply understand the problems they are trying to solve and are embedded in the communities they are serving,” said Cheryl L. Dorsey, president of Echoing Green. “Systemic social impact cannot happen without supporting more leaders of color and supporting them more deeply.”
About Echoing Green: For more than 30 years, Echoing Green has been on the front lines of solving the world’s biggest problems, raising up transformational leaders willing to speak truth to power and challenge the status quo. The organization finds emerging leaders with the best ideas for social innovation as early as possible and sets them on a path to lifelong impact. Echoing Green’s community of nearly 1,000 social innovators includes past Fellows like First Lady Michelle Obama, the founders of organizations like Teach For America and One Acre Fund, and public figures like Van Jones. Built and refined over three decades, Echoing Green discovers tomorrow’s leaders, today, and then funds, connects, and supports a new generation of social impact leaders.
About Citi Foundation: The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.