Who has access to cash in town? Black Leaders Detroit aim to widen the pot » WDET 101.9 FM

Ryan Patrick Hooper

Created by Dwan Dandridge Detroit black leaders in 2019 to help increase access to money for black entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders in Detroit.

The problem is systemic in the Motor City and across the country. A survey conducted last year by the Bank of America showed that 56% of black business owners said they often encountered barriers to obtaining credit. A full 82% of entrepreneurs of color said they often felt like they had to work harder to access capital. About 1,050 small business owners with annual revenues of $100,000 to $5 million were interviewed for the report.

Dandridge says start offering interest-free business loans earlier this year opened a wave of candidates seeking to expand their small businesses in the city.

“In three months, we received $2.2 million in requests,” he says. “People who do not have and would not apply for funding apply [with us] because they know that if they’re turned down, they won’t worry that it’s because they were black.

Visit blackleadersdetroit.org for more information or to support their cause.


Hear: Dwan Dandridge aims to provide inclusive access to capital for Black entrepreneurs with Black Leaders Detroit.


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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is CultureShift’s award-winning host and producer on NPR station 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit. As a longtime arts and culture journalist and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.

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