We at the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership (UEP) Inc. believe the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in every American community, even long-neglected and economically underserved urban areas.
Yet research indicates minority populations start and grow businesses at lower rates than other demographic groups. And on average, minority-owned businesses tend to be smaller and less profitable than other businesses.
Acting in direct response to these findings, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation consulted with academic and business experts across the country to design an educational model addressing key elements of entrepreneurial success.
In 2005, partnering with the White House and the Business Roundtable, an association of leading CEOs, Kauffman launched the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership with the specific goal of fostering minority entrepreneurship in urban-core communities.
Following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita later in 2005, the UEP added a specially tailored version of its program—the UEP Gulf Coast Inc.—to help revitalize economies and rebuild communities affected by the storms.
The resulting UEP centers provide business education and personalized one-to-one coaching, as well as access to financing and procurement opportunities, for new and existing minority and urban businesses.
We believe that this unique program will increase the number of profitable, sustainable minority-owned businesses in urban neighborhoods, creating the wealth and jobs needed to strengthen the economy.