This chart shows the common themes that emerged when we took inventory of entrepreneurship and small business related initiatives aimed at creating jobs.

Many public, private, and social sector organizations are working on increasing job creation and the majority of initiatives seek to accelerate entrepreneurship and/or small business growth as a means to that end. To gain a more strategic understanding of what activities already exist and where there are gaps, we took inventory of strategies that we and/or our members are currently investing in and categorized them by the barriers they sought to address. Using that lens, we could clearly see a set of strategic solutions aimed at each barrier, so we categorized each activity according to: (1) The barriers that people implementing this activity are trying to solve for, (2) the solutions being employed to address the above barrier, and (3) the activities being done in service of each solution.

We created this map to reflect to the field where there is already investment, and enable conversation around how we as changemakers can adopt a more cohesive and thus more powerful approach to addressing common barriers. As Living Cities seeks to learn more intentionally about how to get better results for low-income people and communities of color faster, we hope to continue codifying what works, what doesn’t, and why. We hope that this map can be used to be sure that there is alignment and shared learning around which barriers each investment is targeting, and which solutions are effective in achieving results.


The creation of the inventory was led by Brittany DeBarros, now of Brittany DeBarros Consulting, and supported by Living Cities team members Demetric Duckett, Ratna Gill, and Hafizah Omar.