The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund

Jamie Dimon, Chairman, President & CEO, JP Morgan Chase, recently stopped in Detroit to tout the company’s $100 million investment in the city and, specifically, share insights on the Entrepreneurs of Color (EOC) funding efforts and its impact on Detroit’s entrepreneurial community.

It’s been 2 1/2 years since the company announced its investment as part of Detroit’s recovery efforts and Dimon expressed enthusiasm regarding Detroit’s revitalization and remains strong on its future.  In fact, he pointed out there are noticeable changes and improvements every time he comes here.

The EOC fund, which was created by the Detroit Development Fund (DDF), JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), is a $7 million program focused on supporting Detroit-based neighborhood businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color and businesses that primarily hire people of color.

Funding for the EOC Fund is provided by a $3.5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase, as part of their $100 million commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery, and a $3.5 million investment from the Kellogg Foundation as part of its larger roughly $25 million annual investment in the city and commitment to promoting equity.

To date, nearly 30 minority-owned small businesses have been awarded $2.75 million in capital funding since it began making loans a year ago and 79 jobs have been generated over the same period.

Rhonda Rowe, owner of Rowe Trucking, LLC, in Detroit, is one of the recipients.  She assumed company leadership from her father, Arther Rowe, which he started in 1967, and, in 2007, she reorganized the company under its existing name.

Rowe’s business is one of 30 recipients to have received funding over the last year and says these resources have helped the company’s capital funding needs.  Additionally, she points out it will assist in improving the company’s bottom line and support plans for longer-term growth and expansion.

She says, “The fund(s) will help us with working capital and to stay in business and stay afloat.”

Rowe continues, “My plans are to buy a building within the city” which will be used for office space and servicing the company’s heavy-hauling trucks used as part of her business.

Tosha Tabron, Head of Philanthropy for Detroit, JP Morgan Chase, indicated some contractors don’t have resources to bid on jobs and this type of funding will assist those in the bidding process.

And Tabron points out small businesses receive marketing assistance, technical and access to capital and line of credit support assist in longer-term development and growth.

While there’s been discussion regarding expanding the city’s revitalization efforts into the neighborhoods, here’s an example of a collaborative effort focused on providing small business resources, including capital, throughout the entire city.

For more information on EOC, please go to