City issuing Request for Proposal for minority business incubator

March 23, 2021

Louisville Metro Government has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) with $100,000 available for one or more organizations to provide a business incubator for minority-owned businesses. The incubator should emphasize Black-owned businesses, which have not had the same economic benefits and financial stability as other businesses. Organizations would be expected to provide physical and virtual spaces and assist business owners with resources to start or grow their business. 

“Louisville’s minority population is woefully underrepresented in our business community,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Historically, that gap has been caused by institutionally racist policies that put up barriers to the capital, mentorship or services that others have had for decades. We must do better in breaking down these policies and providing resources, human and financial, that will help our Black and Latinx communities build generational wealth.”

Approximately 22.4% of Louisville’s population is Black, yet only 2.4% of businesses are Black-owned. Relatedly, the African American poverty rate in Louisville is 29.8%, nearly three times the white poverty rate of 10.2%, with the median household income for an African American family in Louisville earning $35,870/year as compared to $61,977/year for the median household income for a white family. 

The incubator operation should assist minority-owned businesses, with services that have been shown to promote stability and growth while helping incubator “members” develop solutions that strengthen their businesses. Services offered can include but not be limited to shared office space and supplies, programming and mentoring around accounting and business finances, HR and legal services, capital strategy, marketing and social media, and networking opportunities. Funds from this program will be provided for working capital, curriculum development, instruction, business equipment or other assistance for the creation of an incubator. 

An incubator differs from an accelerator in that it works to build new businesses, not scale established businesses and differs from a co-working space in that in addition to space and networking, it offers business resources. 

The RFP will close on April 30. To view the RFP in its entirety, and respond, please visit

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