past event
Racial Equity

Scaling Lending to Entrepreneurs of Color

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(with Business Ownership Initiative/Economic Opportunity Program)

Infrastructure for lending has long been exclusionary and insufficient. As a result, entrepreneurs of color often lack access to needed capital to grow and sustain their businesses. The COVID-19 crisis has made an already difficult situation dire for many small business owners. How can we help entrepreneurs of color on the path to recovery? What is the role of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) as lenders, and what can we do to overcome some of the obstacles these organizations face?

Moderator: Joyce Klein, Director, Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), Aspen Institute


  • Michael Barr, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan (@michael_s_barr)
  • Marla Blow, Senior Vice President, Social Impact, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth (@marla_blow)
  • Tim Ogden, Financial Access Initiative, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University (@timothyogden)
  • Francisco Lopez, Vice President of Business Innovation and Partnerships, Dreamspring (@DreamSpringUS)

For years, the story of America’s prosperity has obscured a fundamental truth about our growth: its tragic inequity. And while the COVID-19 economic crisis has stripped bare any illusion that our economy is just or fair, it has also afforded us an opportunity to reexamine how finance, worker benefits, and health intersect and interact with economic growth and financial security.

Join our new conversation series: Global Inclusive Recovery and Rebuilding

Showcasing leading experts and policymakers in their fields, the Global Inclusive Recovery and Rebuilding Series will explore different yet interconnected topics, drawing on the perspectives of multiple programs and leadership networks at the Aspen Institute. Issues to be addressed include lending for entrepreneurs of color; benefits for workers and the connection between benefits and financial security; the role of global health organizations in the effort to develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines as a means for economic recovery; and a look at capital management and how fiduciaries are and are not acting on behalf of beneficiaries in the interest of inclusion.

This series is part of the Global Inclusive Growth Partnership, a collaboration between the Aspen Institute and the Mastercard Center For Inclusive Growth. See below for full event descriptions and speakers. Registration is required.

Event information
Mon Oct 19, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm EDT