Civic Futures Awards

The next generation of women and minority entrepreneurs

Huston Tillotson

Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The problem

Women and people of color are less likely to enjoy Austin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem prosperity. A major reason for this inequality is because this target population does not have the same access to entrepreneurship education and training as their non-minority counterparts.

Solution / Approach

The Center assists women and people of color to launch, grow, and sustain businesses. The Center provides entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to increase profitability and drive job creation while encouraging innovation. One of the ways that CEI plans to achieve its objectives is by hosting workshops that are focused on technology, access to capital, finance, and other knowledge areas.

Core team
  • Dr. Steven Edmond, Dean of the School of Business and Technology
  • Dr. Hector Gomez MacFarland, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Key advisors
  • David Porter, Glimmer
  • Sylnovia Holt-Rabb, City of Austin Economic Development Department
  • Wells Fargo
  • Frost Bank
What can make it sustainable?

Constantly seeking grants and other funding opportunities are important for sustainability. Writing grants and staying connected with private and public organizations and government agencies to learn of potential sources.

Advice to others

If we had to do it all over, we would first align with supporters who can offer advice and funding. Also, networking is crucial. We developed our entrepreneurship network after the creation of the Center, instead of before.