Fort Worth, TX has tremendous assets for new and growing businesses. Sophisticated business services and capital are available in the region, and they have helped spawn the start-up and growth of many exciting companies. But, accessing these support tools and networks can be a challenge. Aspiring and new entrepreneurs may not know where and how to get help, and it can sometimes be a challenge to break into local business networks.
Camoin 310 and EntreWorks Consulting worked with the City of Fort Work to overcome this hurdle by recognizing and owning the city’s ‘small town’ culture, pushing boundaries to open doors wider, and offering a ‘hand-in’ to minority business owners and entrepreneurs who are currently underrepresented and under supported. The project team’s work on the ground in Fort Worth (interviews and focus groups) was supplemented by extensive outside research and in-depth case studies of ecosystem building in three other U.S. communities: Atlanta, Kansas City, and Nashville.
Several lessons emerged from this work. Specifically, an active and conscious commitment to inclusive ecosystem building is needed. Women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs often face unique barriers to business start-up and growth, and may find it especially challenging to engage in traditional business networking activities in Fort Worth. Additionally, city programming and culture matters. The lessons leaned through the research and analysis are the foundation of the strategy development, which will focus on enhance Support for Minority Entrepreneurship, youth entrepreneurship programming.