“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

The continued acts of violence brought against Black people at the hands of police and citizens are unacceptable and inexcusable. Over the past three months, we have been deeply angered and saddened by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other lives, as well as a myriad of racist events taking place across the country. As an organization committed to helping ALL entrepreneurs succeed, we cannot sit back as the very people we are looking to serve are losing their lives and facing systemic racism and oppression.

This has deeply affected us as a team. We recognize that the racist events taking place are not new. Our staff and many of our volunteers and entrepreneurs are grieving, feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and angry. As an organization, we have just begun to have these very necessary conversations to unite us and show the broader EforAll community what it looks like to put our mission into action.

Established in 2013, Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a nonprofit organization committed to providing under-represented individuals with the resources and tools they need to successfully start a business. Our founding was in direct response to the social and economic inequality that countless communities across the country face. We know that economic inequality is steeped in a history of racism, primarily against black people, immigrants, and other marginalized communities.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most empowering ways that people of color and other minority groups gain control over their lives and create wealth for their families and their communities. This ethos directly influences the communities we serve, the demographics of our entrepreneurs, our hiring practices, and our local and national Boards.

As our EforAll values state, outreach is done broadly in communities to get representation of entrepreneurs and volunteers that reflect the demographics of the community. We meet individuals where they are and work to build a relationship of trust.

We acknowledge that we should have sent this message sooner. Going forward, we resolve to thoroughly and promptly raise our voice, accept responsibility and take action as internal and external events occur that affect our team and the people we serve.

We vow to hold ourselves immediately accountable for ensuring that:

  • We will look closely within ourselves and our organization to identify and wipe out any racist or biased behavior, which we know can happen in all people, whether intended or not.
  • EforAll’s staff will be trained on addressing instances of bias and racism head on, without regard to how uncomfortable it is to do so for everyone involved.
  • EforAll’s curriculum will address racism and bias, and our entrepreneurs will learn how to succeed in the face of these challenges, which can come from any and all directions, including themselves.
  • EforAll’s mentors will be asked to learn to watch out for and end racism and bias that may occur in their own behavior – and to increase their understanding and empathy for EforAll’s entrepreneurs, who have to endure racism and bias on a daily basis.
  • EforAll’s specialists, who teach our curriculum, will be held up to our standards to ensure no racist or biased behavior or information will enter our lessons.
  • EforAll’s donors will be made aware of our commitment to end racism and bias, to ensure that they are supportive of these efforts. We invite them to actively work alongside us and stand shoulder to shoulder, to help us achieve EforAll’s vision in the communities we serve and in new communities across the nation in the months and years to come.

In addition to looking within our organization and all the wonderful people who come together to help EforAll’s entrepreneurs succeed, we commit ourselves to help to eliminate systemic and institutional racism, and to be an active voice in advocating for change at an industry, regional, state, and national level so that racism and bias are publicly eliminated.

As an organization committed to providing equal access to resources for historically underserved entrepreneurs, we will do better.

In Solidarity,

David Parker, Chief Executive Officer

Gail Goodman, Board Chair