Today’s economic development climate in Asheville continues to produce a reduced number of people of color owned businesses which is evidenced by the lack of proportionate funding being disbursed, the number of untrained business professionals, and the inability of these small business owners to pilot and access available resources. The veracity of this climate has a profoundly detrimental impact on the ability of small people of color business owners to create jobs, pay family wages, provide employability training, ensure job retention for low to moderate individuals, and to be significant contributors to the economic sustainability of their families and communities.

EMSDC and its partnering agencies have determined Financial Literacy Education alone is no longer enough to build healthy successful people of color businesses. Thus, EMSDC has turned its full attention to the challenge of elevating and empowering small people of color entrepreneurs, to helping them become asset builders and wealth creators by providing them with the opportunity to gain an increased knowledge/ awareness of the economic impact small business/job creation has on the local, state and national economy. And, how this impact can result in a more equitable, inclusive ecosystem.