NICHE 2.0 has officially launched as a startup accelerator program to provide technical assistance services specifically targeted and prioritized for communities and microenterprises that have historically faced barriers to resources and business services, such as underserved minority and immigrant-owned communities and microenterprises. Contact us today to learn how you may qualify for free mentorship and grants for your business.
While Indianapolis boasts a diverse population, it has witnessed persistent disparities in business ownership for POC-owned businesses. Black and Latino(a) residents, who make up 29% and 11% of the population respectively, own only 4% and 2% of all businesses, according to the Small Business Ecosystem Assessment from Winter 2020. This study also highlighted that minority-owned businesses faced disproportionate impacts during the pandemic compared to their white counterparts.
Recognizing that minority and immigrant-owned businesses already lacked equitable access to resources and support services even before the pandemic, LISC identified a crucial need to address this disparity. Consequently, in 2021, LISC, in collaboration with the City of Indianapolis, initiated the Microenterprise Navigator Program.
We are thrilled to share that NICHE at Crooked Creek CDC has been distinguished by LISC Indianapolis as one of four Microenterprise Navigators across the city. The Navigator, branded as NICHE 2.0, is set to enlist 30 businesses, providing technical assistance and diverse support to business owners with household incomes at or below 80% LMI.
Moreover, due to the support of the Indianapolis Urban League IAAQLI, businesses meeting the qualifications have the opportunity to avail themselves of low-interest loans, grants, and various other forms of support.