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Still to Come: Urban Institute Measures the Impact of Forward Cities


Thursday morning during the Cleveland Convening, Kathy Pettit, senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, presented the Urban Institute's initial findings on Forward Cities' local and national research products and their impact. 

Thursday morning during the Cleveland Convening, Kathy Pettit, senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, presented the Urban Institute's initial findings on Forward Cities' local and national research products and their impact. 

Covering all research products produced to-date by each participating city, the initial findings then move on to describe short-term outcomes on the initiative's goals. These include:
  • Deepen focus on supporting minority entrepreneurs and underserved neighborhoods
  • Increase funding for supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses
  • Strengthen relationships among entrepreneurship support organizations within cities
  • Foster learning across cities about inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship 
Towards the goal to deepen the focus on supporting minority entrepreneurs and underserved neighborhoods, the Urban Institute;s initial report has found that Forward Cities 1) aligned with and reinforced some existing interest in supporting minority businesses, 2) expanded the table to new players helping the cause, 3) fostered a common language and understanding of “inclusive innovation”, and 4) highlighted strategies tailored for individual neighborhoods.

As one participant shared, “Now, there’s a larger picture focusing on underserved people, neighborhoods. There were individual people talking about their own focus before, now [they are] looking at it with that lens.” 

Kathy and her team are working hard to finalize the report from work completed by Forward Cities up through the Cleveland Convening. This report will also include key recommendations for Forward Cities participants to help them keep the work going in their cities and for similar initiatives as well. The draft report will be released in October with the final coming out in December of 2016. 

You can read the slides from the Cleveland Convening presentation here. 
 
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