Town hall to rally local business owners around solutions to entrepreneurial inequities

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Entrepreneurs and small business owners are invited to participate in a town hall about strengthening equitable resources in local entrepreneurship.

E3, which stands for Equity for Every Entrepreneur, is a program founded by a national nonprofit organization called Forward Cities. Douglas County began its partnership with Forward Cities in January 2021 to increase the success of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) businesses in the county’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, according to a news release from the county. 

The Ecosystem Town Hall is part of the Douglas County/Lawrence E3 Nation Tour and will develop “next steps on the path towards designing, leading and sustaining equitable entrepreneurial communities in Lawrence and Douglas County,” according to the news release. Douglas County will be the first community to participate in the E3 Nation Tour.

“The E3 vision is for every entrepreneur to have equitable opportunity and access to develop, launch and grow a business that creates wealth for themselves, their family and their community,” according to the release. “Douglas County is fortunate to be the inaugural community for this national tour.”

Fay Horwitt, Forward Cities president and CEO, and Kasem Rodriguez Mohsen, head of strategic engagement in the office of the CEO, facilitate the E3 Nation Tour. Kansas City-based entrepreneur and speaker Kira Cheree’ Cobb will be the emcee. Horwitt most recently has led efforts to “help communities address the dual pandemic of COVID-19 and heightened systemic racism” by using a method called “ecosystem healing,” the news release said.

The Douglas County/Lawrence Ecosystem Town Hall is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 in Flory Meeting Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper St. in Lawrence. The event is free, but those interested in attending must reserve a spot since capacity is limited. Register at this link by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13.

The Douglas County Community Foundation, Chamber of Lawrence, Network Kansas, and Forward Cities have partnered as hosts.

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