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A Roadmap to Inclusive Entrepreneurship

In Collaboration with National League of Cities

March 21, 2022 

This municipal action guide provides a practical framework for understanding and supporting inclusive entrepreneurship, including specific examples and steps city leaders can take to improve racial and social equity, expand economic opportunity and participation, and build dynamic and resilient local economies.


The recommendations in this guide were developed through a collaboration between the National League of Cities and Nowak Metro Finance Lab. Both organizations focus their work on engaging a variety of cities, communities and leaders across private, public and philanthropic sectors. The National League of Cities’ City Innovation Ecosystems program aims to support city leaders in creating the right policies, programs and practices that drive inclusive, entrepreneurship-led economic growth in their communities. To date, this network has grown to include more than 15 cities, 200 local partners and $100 million in resources.


The Nowak Metro Finance Lab works at the intersection of city hall policy, private investment and business-civic leadership to drive inclusive metro economies and build community wealth.


Together, through their shared experiences and observations, the National League of Cities and the Nowak Metro Finance Lab developed the following action guide to help city halls advance inclusive entrepreneurship as their local economies emerge from the pandemic. The framework, recommendations, examples and case studies offered were refined and groundproofed through interviews with dozens of city leaders across the country. Their shared aim is to provide discrete, actionable steps that, taken together, can build more inclusive, dynamic and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems no matter where a city is in its journey.