Fund 17 is fighting opportunity inequality in the seventeen wards of New Orleans.

New Orleans is currently experiencing an entrepreneurial renaissance. The tech industry is booming, new co-working spaces and incubators are popping up around town, and searches for the next “big idea” expand. Unfortunately, while these high-growth businesses gain technical assistance, investments, and visibility, there exists a lot of “hustle” or informal enterprises that are ignored as part of this entrepreneurial market. We use our own terminology, ‘opportunity inequality’, to explain the situation we see everyday: the poor lack the assets to achieve economic mobility while the wealthy and middle-class can use their resources to succeed.

Too many New Orleanians are underserved by traditional financial institutions.

Fund 17 problem

Click here for more information on New Orleans or national economic data.

 

Although inequality is a growing global problem, New Orleans consistently displays higher levels of inequality than national averages:

  • African American households in New Orleans, on average, earn 50% less than white households, as compared to 40% less nationally (Greater New Orleans Data Center: Katrina Index at Eight).
  • Returns to minority-owned businesses in New Orleans are also below the national average, at 2% of local revenue (GNODC, Katrina Index at Eight).
  • 12.5% of New Orleanians are completely unbanked, compared to 7.7% nationally (BankOn).
  • African Americans and Latinos are consistently “at risk” of being unbanked or underbanked, whereas white New Orleanians have little risk of either (BankOn).
  • 71% of New Orleans has sub-prime credit scores, a staggering number that Fund 17 believes is intrinsically tied to New Orleans wealth and asset poverty (GNODC: Assets and Wealth Profile).

Through equitable services tailored to the needs of each micro-entrepreneur, Fund 17 believes we can create a new system of economic opportunity in New Orleans. Read about our Theory of Change here.