JPMorgan Chase donates $1.5M in effort to spur growth, close racial wealth gap

Commitments to Rising Tide, Rutgers, Enterprise Center of N.J. and Hispanic Chamber aim to support ecosystem for Black and Latino business owners

Recognizing that small businesses and entrepreneurs generate jobs, create diverse communities and are vital to prosperous cities, JPMorgan Chase announced this week that it is providing more than $1.5 million to four nonprofit organizations in New Jersey.

The goal, JPMorgan Chase officials said, is to help support diverse entrepreneurs and increase their access to capital, mentorship, technical assistance and other critical resources needed for business growth and scale.

JPMorgan Chase is providing the following commitments to organizations with programs that support underserved entrepreneurs:

  • Rising Tide Capital ($800,000): To support individualized technical assistance, coaching and business support services for low-income women and minority entrepreneurs around issues of small business growth and resilience, including guidance on accessing financial capital and strategies for using such capital to navigate the changing landscape of business in a post-COVID economy.
  • Rutgers University ($399,000): To continue Ascend Newark, an initiative to help local businesses owned by people of color increase their access to capital, management education and contract relationships with anchor institutions. The program is a collaboration between Rutgers’ Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Greater Newark Enterprises Corp., Local Initiative Support Corp. Newark and RWJBarnabas Health. Ascend Newark is part of the national Ascend Network, which helps entrepreneurs grow their revenues, profits and employee size.
  • The Enterprise Center of New Jersey ($301,000): To provide a comprehensive overview of Camden’s small business ecosystem and identify long-term strategic priorities to enhance opportunity and access to resources for women and Black, indigenous, people of color-owned startups and small businesses in the city and surrounding region. The program will assess current resources available to the startup and small business ownership community related to innovation, talent, place-building, access to capital, entrepreneurship education and training, and small business assistance.
  • Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey ($32,500): To support the Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program, which provides access, opportunity and meaningful mentorship and coaching to empower Hispanic small business owners with the skill-set necessary to succeed. The program focuses on access to knowledge, capital and credit, networks and new markets. The chamber works with more than 120,000 Hispanic-owned, New Jersey-based businesses that contribute an aggregated $20 billion to the economy each year.

Victor Salama, executive director of the Greater Newark Enterprises Corp., said the donations can have great impact.

“JPMorgan Chase’s continued investment in programs that support entrepreneurs from underserved communities is both critical and timely,” he said. “Small businesses, particularly those owned by entrepreneurs of color, are facing ongoing pressure from interest rate increases and a lack of access to capital.

“Support from JPMorgan Chase allows organizations such as GNEC to provide much-needed assistance and allow entrepreneurs to create generational wealth that will benefit communities for years to come.”

Marco Villegas, vice president, global philanthropy in New Jersey for JPMorgan Chase, agreed.

“As a firm, we recognize that supporting underserved, minority entrepreneurs is key to unlocking the kind of opportunity that lifts communities,” he said. “These commitments will help strengthen New Jersey’s small business ecosystem, fueling job creation and economic growth across the state. Together with our community partners, we can help provide small businesses with the technical assistance needed to better access capital and grow their business.”

These investments are part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion, five-year commitment to increase economic opportunities for underserved communities, especially Black, Hispanic and Latino communities, and to drive an inclusive economic recovery. In 2022, the firm provided more than $3.3 million in philanthropic capital to nonprofits across the state to support affordable housing, jobs and skills development, small business and entrepreneurship and financial health. In New Jersey, the firm has nearly 11,000 employees, 200 branches and serves more than 2 million consumers and nearly 230,000 small businesses in the state.