The city is one of 10 chosen to participate in the prestigious accelerator through a competitive application process. Living Cities is a philanthropic collaborative of foundations and financial institutions committed to improving the economic well-being of low-income communities in cities across the nation. The City Accelerator program, a joint initiative of the Citi Foundation and Living Cities, is designed to foster municipal innovation – especially as it relates to economic equity. For the past two years, its city accelerator program has focused on inclusive procurement practices. This year’s cohort is comprised of cities that are taking positive steps to ensure the equitable distribution of public contracting awards.
Nashville will receive $50,000 in grant funding, along with coaching, technical assistance, and implementation resources in the coming year. The selected cities will collaborate over the next year to develop effective, locally-tailored strategies to leverage public purchasing power to develop firms owned by people of color and women.
Nashville seeks to become the “most equitable city in America.” The city’s goal to eliminate the racial disparities in employment, income, credit, and wealth creation through supporting the growth and development of minority and women-owned businesses. This effort is central to the work we do at DENOR. Not only did we help develop the city’s winning application, for the past four years, we have developed communications campaigns on behalf of organizations, such as the Nashville Minority Business Center, to advocate for public contracting equity on both the state and local levels. Additionally, our director, Ashley Northington, chairs Mayor David Briley’s Minority Business Advisory Council, and will serve on Nashville’s City Accelerator team.
Other cities in the cohort include: Boston, Cleveland, El Paso, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and South Bend.
Over the next 12 months, Nashville will develop a comprehensive communications and outreach strategy and a multi-layered business capacity development program. The purpose of this work is to dismantle racial disparities, support minority and women business enterprises in adding jobs to our local economy, and support ethnic minority entrepreneurial development within academic anchor institutions. To view more about Nashville’s plan, click here.
Learn more about the accelerator by clicking here.