Economic Mobility

Why We’re Investing in Entrepreneurs Advancing Economic Mobility

February 24, 2022

The unique contours of the pandemic have forced the American public to confront the reality that the education and employment systems are not working for most Americans. 

Driven by these systemic inequities, New Profit will soon welcome its inaugural Economic Mobility Cohort to its Catayze investment portfolio. This cohort of eight social entrepreneurs is using innovative approaches across three separate but interrelated levers to increase economic mobility in America:

  1. Income Generation: Pathways to gainful employment such as innovations in education-to-employment systems.
  2. Social Determinants of Work: Enabling conditions that play an essential role in employment outcomes including childcare, transportation, and affordable housing.
  3. Financial Health: Asset-building for wealth creation such as access to capital for home ownership or entrepreneurship and financial health supports and coaching.

Catalyze investments offer support to innovative early-stage organizations, including a peer learning community, adaptive leadership coaching, consultations with external content experts, and New Profit’s tested capacity-building framework and tools. 

Economic mobility in America has declined precipitously in recent decades and the pandemic has accelerated inequities in education, employment, and the economy, particularly for Black, Latino/a/x and Indigenous people. Even before the pandemic, 44 million Americans were already unemployed or under-employed. The need for reskilling and upskilling is recognized by both sides of the aisle, as policymakers at all levels search for solutions that can work for millions of Americans.

“Creating a more inclusive economy requires fighting against a system that was designed to privilege select groups,” said New Profit Partner, Kelly Cutler. “Fighting for economic well-being for every American is an act of justice. Entrepreneurs who are guided by both their lived experience and the voices of their constituents are creating innovations to reshape our fractured economic system. We want to amplify their solutions to create multi-generational economic well-being—especially in communities who have been most left behind—so all Americans have a foundation from which to thrive.”

The inaugural Economic Mobility Cohort will be made up of some of the boldest social entrepreneurs across the country working to tear down the barriers that trap communities —particularly women of color—in poverty. Advancing economic mobility for women of color will not only transform communities and families but also secure future generations, uplift some of the most vulnerable Americans, and help reimagine what an inclusive economy can look like.

The Cohort is an opportunity for leaders to build community, share lessons learned, best practices, and insights that can accelerate the impact of promising and innovative solutions to build wealth, especially for women of color, in America. Cohort members will also each receive $100,000 in unrestricted support for one year.