For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.


EDA Innovative Finance Models

The Innovative Financing Models for Coronavirus Recovery Project is an 18-month initiative expected to run through 2022. 


Small businesses have long faced barriers in accessing capital. According to data from the Kauffman Foundation, 83 percent of entrepreneurs cannot access traditional capital markets, such as venture capital and bank loans, leaving many businesses unserved. The coronavirus pandemic only worsened existing inequities for small businesses, especially for Black and Brown entrepreneurs. 

Learn More

American Recovery Resource Center

For cities and metros, 2020 was a time of unprecedented crisis, and 2021 is a time of unprecedented Federal investment. Building back from this crisis will require doing things differently. 

Drexel's Nowak Metro Finance Lab is working with Accelerator for America, the US Conference of Mayors, and partners across the country to organize for a transformative recovery.

Learn More

52nd Street Investment Playbook

To outline the financial capital needed for a place-based, holistic development initiative in West Philadelphia, the Enterprise Center (TEC)the Philadelphia Equity Alliance (PEA) and the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University have partnered to develop the 52nd Street Investment Playbook. The early estimated total cost of this Playbook is around $160 million, a holistic investment to regenerate the corridor and incite broader community benefit to minority enterprises, community safety, and community health. TEC seeks a $15 million catalytic investment to continue acquiring, stabilizing and transforming properties into community-serving and wealth-building assets that foster local ownership.

Learn More

Leveraging SSBCI 2.0: Remaking America’s Small Business Capital Landscape

52nd Street in West Philadelphia

The Nowak Metro Finance Lab and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation have teamed up to help states maximize incoming federal State Small Business Credit Initiative funds (SSBCI), a potential $100 billion opportunity – supported by $10 billion in public funds – over the next decade. The Nowak Lab is working to help states and practitioners use this temporary influx of capital to develop robust and seamless small business ecosystems with a continuum of capital products supporting a continuum of firms and diversity, historically underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Learn More

City Learning and Action Lab

The City Learning and Action Lab has launched in five Latino-majority cities across the U.S. 

On June 8, 2021, The Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program launched the 12-month City Learning and Action Lab in partnership with Drexel University’s Nowak Metro Finance Lab and Christopher Gergen, the CEO of impact investment firm, Forward Impact and Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.

Learn More

Housing Policy Futures

The Nowak Metro Finance Lab, along with our partners Accelerator for America, the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, and Reinvestment Fund, is leading numerous overlapping projects to understand America’s Housing Policy Futures. The housing market has changed substantially in the beginning of the 21st Century. The United States needs a new set of policies, products, and processes, deployed at the federal, state, and local levels, to confront the new challenges found in the housing market. In order to identify the policies, products, and processes that can best be replicated throughout the US, we have conducted a series of deep-dive reports on the current state of the housing market throughout the US. 

Learn More

Everything, Everywhere All At Once: The Industrial Transition and the US City

The United States' economic landscape has shifted significantly due to a confluence of global megaforces that have exposed national security and supply chain vulnerabilities, prompting leading to a renewed interest in reshoring, remilitarization, and decarbonization. In response, the US government is investing heavily in key sectors such as infrastructure, semiconductors, and national security. This investment is critical in enhancing the country's competitiveness in the global market. Notably, the government has allocated $1.2T for fostering physical infrastructure, $280B for bolstering the semiconductor industry, and $437B for clean energy infrastructure. The investments made have a common thread of a strong focus on manufacturing.  As the manufacturing sector grows and expands, it will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the American economy, driving prosperity and sustainable growth.

Learn More

Infrastructure Funding Tracker 

The Nowak Lab is tracking new funding opportunities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act and we’re pleased to offer regular updates through a simple, skim-able email sent each time the federal government opens a new funding opportunity.

Subscribe to the Infrastructure Funding Tracker here

Learn More

An Investment Playbook Guide for Accelerate El Paso

For the past few months, the Nowak Lab has worked to launch ACCELERATE El Paso, an initiative intended to spur an inclusive recovery by building a structured ecosystem of coaching and capital for Latino businesses. Developed in collaboration with the Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program (AILAS)Christopher Gergen of Forward Impact, and economic development leaders in El Paso, we created an investment playbook for a major health corridor which (1) identifies opportunities for equitable economic growth, (2) strategically prioritizes shovel-ready and shovel-worthy investments, and (3) blends philanthropic and private capital with federal funding to fully launch large-scale projects.

Learn More

Israeli Innovation District Partnership

The Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University has established a partnership with the Israeli National Economic Council and the Global Institute on Innovation Districts (GIID), creating a unique opportunity to develop and leverage relationships between Philadelphia innovation districts, institutions, and industries with Israeli counterparts, with Drexel as a catalyst and connector. 

Learn More

Local Infrastructure Hub

In an effort to inspire more cities and local leaders, the Nowak Lab has partnered with Accelerator for America in joining the Local Infrastructure Hub to produce a series of Local Infrastructure Case Stories focused on specific programs within the BIL, Inflation Reduction Act, and other federal legislation. 

Learn More

Localizing Lab Research in Philadelphia

For cities and metros, 2020 was a time of unprecedented crisis, and 2021, a time of unprecedented Federal investment. In 2022, the focus is shifting to delivery and how cities can deploy effective approaches to maximize the impact of investments. Drexel's Nowak Metro Finance Lab is working with partners across the country to organize for a transformative recovery.

Learn More

Unlocking the Procurement Economy

The Procurement Economy is expanding, a trend driven by growing investments and spending going through local, state, and federal governments. What happens here will help determine whether the economy is tilted towards a narrow set of large national conglomerates or a broader array of locally based, small and medium sized enterprises. The Lab believes supplier development is a necessity to facilitate local growth, build stronger domestic supply chains and foster greater economic competition. The industrial and energy transitions, catalyzed by large public and private spending, are here to stay – whether small businesses will be part of those transitions and subsequent growth will depend on local and metropolitan organizing around the Procurement Economy.

Learn More