Next Street worked with stakeholders across Houston to understand the small business environment and develop strategies to reduce disparities in the knowledge, access, and use of business resources and capital necessary to grow and sustain minority- and women-owned businesses in the City of Houston to enable them to build wealth.

How we approached the assessment

Using a three-part analysis, funded by JP Morgan Chase, Next Street examined Houston’s overall small business, business support organization, and capital landscapes. The team assessed the opportunities and solutions needed in Houston in partnership with a six-person working group and a 50+ person Task Force led by former Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards and comprised of members from the corporate, small business, financial services, and education sectors. Each phase of the assessment used a variety of qualitative and quantitative data, including in-depth interviews with small business owners, capital providers, and service providers, and analysis of SBA, Census, and other data.

The path forward

The research helped the Task Force identify a list of 24 gaps and barriers facing minority- and woman-owned small businesses in Houston. From this list, the Task Force prioritized seven for immediate action, solidifying a vision and roadmap for Houston’s small business community going forward.