SALT LAKE CITY – The Sorenson Impact Center, a multidisciplinary organization focused on catalyzing intentional, scalable and equitable investing to help solve complex global challenges, announced it has been awarded an additional $200K grant from J.P. Morgan Chase to support Project DEEP (Developing Equitable Economies Program). Project DEEP is a multi-pronged initiative designed to accelerate the growth of underrepresented entrepreneurs by providing access to human capital and technical assistance, including through a just-released series of free video courses for entrepreneurs.
J.P. Morgan Chase is a longtime supporter of the Center, having granted more than $700K over the years. This latest grant will be used to extend Project DEEP’s efforts to better serve diverse entrepreneurs in Utah, specifically funding research activities to understand the unique needs of entrepreneurs who identify as women and members of the Black, Latina/Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American and/or New American communities in Utah. It will also expand the reach of training resources created previously, including six on-demand, free video courses created to connect entrepreneurs and a new class of intentional investors into a supportive network of knowledge- and resource-sharing. Taught by nationally respected changemakers with lived experience and topical expertise, these courses cover topics such as the funding landscape for entrepreneurs and creating inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems. They are designed for both entrepreneurs and stakeholders such as investors and economic developers who can influence entrepreneurs’ success.
“We are extremely grateful to have received this grant which will help propel Project DEEP’s mission to create a more equitable environment for entrepreneurs that have been systematically excluded from this economy,” said Geoff Davis, Sorenson Impact Center CEO. “This program aims to put women, Black, indigenous, and other people of color at the forefront of the innovation economy, and we’re thrilled to have the support of an institution like J.P. Morgan as we work to ensure that all entrepreneurs have the resources to thrive.”
“Connecting capital to social and environmental solutions represents a powerful opportunity for small businesses to grow beyond their communities,” said JPMorgan Chase Philanthropy Manager, Vicki Foege. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to partner with the Sorenson Impact Center and commend their work to provide BIPOC entrepreneurs and small businesses with access to capital and the technical assistance needed to stabilize and grow, creating generational wealth. When this happens, small businesses succeed, allowing communities to thrive.”
Despite Utah’s overall sterling reputation for dynamic business – with an economy ranked as #1 in the nation – the state continues to lag on many measures of social and economic health for women and people of color. For example, Utah ranks 45th on the number of women-owned businesses and has the third-worst gender pay gap in the nation. Despite these challenges, many women – especially women of color – are driving innovation in entrepreneurship, with women of color and Black women particularly ranking as the fastest-growing entrepreneurial segment nationwide.
”Our team at the Sorenson Impact Center is learning through our work that community-driven, local-level emphasis truly brings about change that people care about,” said Dana Taylor, Director of Impact Strategy at the Sorenson Impact Center. “Through the remainder of 2023, Project DEEP’s outreach and solution-building in Utah will model ecosystems that can be replicated for under-served communities across the country. We are so grateful to JP Morgan Chase, our local partners, and our many content contributors for their enthusiasm and work on this project.”
Project DEEP builds on the Center’s prior work around equitable entrepreneurship locally and nationally, including its 2018 landscape analysis report also supported by JP Morgan Chase which reviewed challenges and opportunities for small businesses owned by women and people of color in Utah. This pioneering report provided concrete recommendations for better supporting historically marginalized entrepreneurs.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $3.7 trillion in assets and $292 billion in stockholders’ equity as of December 31, 2022. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S., and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.