Since its inception, NEI has assisted more than 150 grantee Business Support Organizations (BSOs) through…

  • substantial funding,
  • practical assistance and
  • robust opportunities for networking and convening.

Its grantmaking has been unusual; NEI did not make grants to what already existed but funded the creation of what has become a nationally-modeled inclusive small business support network. NEI took time to learn about gaps in entrepreneurial ecosystems and worked with its partner BSOs to address the gaps – collaboratively and creatively.

NEI administers and manages all grants for its networks of BSOs, along with developing and operating its own branded programs to support underserved small businesses. Supported BSOs have offered a wide array of services to small businesses, from marketing and mentoring, to capital and coworking space, to accounting and accelerator programs.


From 2007-19, NEI has awarded 597 grants and $120,391,548 to organizations that have achieved the following outcomes:

In sum, NEI grant-funded client organizations have collectively resulted in:

Companies assisted

People exposed to entrepreneurial services through events, workshops, and programs hosted by NEI grantees.

Companies launched

These companies employed


and leveraged more than


in capital.

Ideas surfaced through NEI-supported business challenges.

What’s next

Follow NEI’s journey, then take your own