Giving Compass' Take:

• The author suggests that nonprofits are poised to support minority entrepreneurship with organizations and communities thriving under diverse leadership. 

• How can larger entities such as foundations and corporations support the same goals for diversity in entrepreneurship?

• Check out the episode of  Unlikely Duos video series that discusses how to invest in talent within diverse communities. 

Diversity in nonprofit leadership is progressing, albeit at a slow pace.

A 2017 BoardSource survey revealed that 84% of nonprofit board members and 90% of board chairs are Caucasian.

These statistics align well with my own nonprofit experience. As a Chinese man who spent a fair amount of time working with the Clinton Foundation, I’m acutely familiar with the homogeneity of nonprofit leadership. The diverse array of people whom nonprofits help is rarely reflected in those leading an organization’s initiatives.

Much like the nonprofit executive world, entrepreneurship has traditionally been dominated by Caucasian men, but demographic trends are changing, with more diversity emerging in terms of age, race and religion.

Nonprofit organizations can play a valuable role in fostering diversity in entrepreneurship. These organizations naturally encourage entrepreneurship because they deliver an alternative value system and lens to view problems that impact communities and societies at large.

Nonprofit leaders are uniquely positioned to encourage greater diversity in entrepreneurship, which would benefit society as a whole. These three strategies can help open those doors:

  1. Identify business intangibles early: Nonprofits can offer early guidance to young people and foster the personality traits needed to thrive both personally and professionally.
  2. Find common ground, and stand on it together: Nonprofits can be great for illuminating problems that entrepreneurs could help solve. They frequently focus on addressing social concerns, and many entrepreneurs share those values but choose to create solutions through new, for-profit methods. When the two work together, their effectiveness multiplies.
  3. Create community-centric solutions:  If you’re a nonprofit leader who hasn’t experienced many social challenges in life, learn more about the social problems affecting the demographics in the community you serve. Social problems are highly difficult to solve, and you need first-hand insights to properly address the right needs with appropriate solutions.

Read the full article about supporting minority entrepreneurship by Kevin Xu at Forbes