GMC 2021 ANNUAL REPORT
READ ABOUT OUR INITIATIVES
Alan Goodman is a SPARC alumnus turned SPARC faculty and the owner of A Goodman’s Desserts.
Alan applied for SPARC 4 with the goal of growing his business to produce on a mass scale and understand the market trends, where he ultimately was asked to teach the course’s operations curriculum. Alan’s story is a prime example of how sustainable business growth can be supported through a culture of equitable opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs of color.
Alan has won numerous awards and accolades for his business growth, including Rev-Up MKE and an opportunity to serve his desserts during the NBA playoffs and finals at Fiserv Forum.
Milwaukee is at a critical crossroads.
We are experiencing once-in-a-generation development in and around downtown that is creating tremendous new opportunities for our City. However, we also acknowledge that some of our residents do not feel connected to this growth or the downtown, fearing being left out or pushed out. We have an opportunity to leverage these developments to achieve a downtown and adjacent neighborhoods that are welcoming to all, a strong economic engine, inter-connected across neighborhoods and the region, and positioned to attract new investment.
We spent another year deepening our partnerships within neighborhoods to respond to critical needs on the road to an equitable community. We have a continued focus on the issue of disinvestment in neighborhoods of color in Milwaukee. We partnered with the Urban Institute on a Neighborhood Investment Flows research project that analyzed 15 years of investment flows in Milwaukee by race and poverty rate. We are entering into an exciting year in 2022 focused on standing up multiple pilots to address the aforementioned gaps, including establishing a Community Investment Trust and launching an Appraiser Diversity Initiative.
One of the first funds of its kind in the country, ensuring long-term, low-to-mid income households are not displaced due to rapidly rising property values and taxes. To date, this private fund has aided 144 homeowners with this critical lifeline of support, averaging $910 per household in 2021. Learn more.
CONVENING / INTEGRATION
Full integration of a committee of community leaders, residents, and organizers into the ongoing planning, strategies, and executive decision-making of MKE United through transparent and transformative relationships and feedback.
APPRAISER DIVERSITY INITIATIVE
Preparing for the launch of a workforce training collaboration focused on both diversifying the residential real estate appraisal industry locally, as well as addressing bias within appraisals and lending.
We partner with ambitious entrepreneurs to transform companies and communities to create inclusive prosperity. We believe with the right tools, resources and network, businesses and the communities around them can provide something greater for everyone.
We’ve learned that unless we design deliberately equity-committed interventions, the results of our impact won’t affect all communities equally. The structural and historic challenges faced by Black, Hispanic, and other racially oppressed communities impede entrepreneurial growth despite positive shifts in macroeconomic and regional trends. For Scale Up, equity-driven outcomes drive the strategy.
While fostering entrepreneurial growth remains core to our programming, so does improving wealth, particularly generational wealth, for the Black and brown business owners with whom we work. We’re continuing to refine models that diminish the wealth gap between BIPOC and white owners with comparable businesses. The importance of these efforts was highlighted during a tumultuous 2021.
Designed for existing companies with annual revenues of roughly $1M-$15M. To date, 91 companies over seven cohorts have participated, averaging approximately 15 per year. Their average growth is 25%, sustaining this rate of growth after program completion, and have hired over 1,200.
A virtual accelerator designed for Black-, Hispanic- & women-owned businesses under $1M. This program directly supports the GMC’s vision of commercial corridor development and the “Work” transformative direction of MKE United. SPARC companies average about 50% growth and have hired over 200.
An entrepreneurial ecosystem and support network to promote growth ambition within the Milwaukee region. Members relied on connections to organizations and businesses to support their growth as well as accessing “office hours" with Scale Up staff and experts. This membership is different and separate from GMC membership and there is a limited crossover, largely consisting of small and growing businesses.
A strategy to improve generational wealth for Black and brown owners who participate in the Growth Accelerator. To date, Rising Tide has a dozen companies receiving tailored resources to facilitate more profitable and impactful growth.