Using several open data sources, DataKind and the Black Wealth Data Center have started building a tool to facilitate the targeting of business capital investment into Black-owned businesses in underinvested localities.
The racial wealth gap and the gap in assets accrued by households between races is representative of, and interrelated with, many inequalities experienced between races: income, wealth, education opportunities, and housing. Successful business ownership is considered to be a key way to close the racial wealth gap. Expanding business capital investment opportunities including making fair loan application processes and providing other financial access, will increase the number and size of Black-owned businesses.
The tool combines open source indicators, identified through data science, to rank communities by need for investment, and it will be open for all to use. This means that groups including Community Development Financial Institutions (“CDFIs”) and Minority Depository Institutions (“MDIs”), government entities, and researchers will be able to not only use a data-driven tool but also cite the tool in grants and applications to show they are making data-driven decisions to target efforts. CDFIs serve the communities they work within, and have been a key component of increasing investment in Black businesses, but often as nonprofits themselves, they lack the time to focus on sophisticated targeting, advertising, and evaluation. This tool will allow them to use a sophisticated approach quickly and easily.
This event will be a presentation of the open data and indicators we have explored and determined are most useful in predicting underinvestment in the Black community. The tool can operate at several geographic levels including census tract, county, state, and nation; we will delve into the output for the NYC area during the event and show how NYC tracts compare to others across the state and nation. Attendees will have the opportunity to use the Tableau tool and share feedback.