PLUM Phase II Summary: Lessons Learned for Advancing Minority Small Business Capital Access

The Milken Institute and U.S. Small Business Administration Partnership for Lending in Underserved Markets (PLUM) initiative aims to increase the amount of capital reaching minority-owned businesses and the number of successful minority business enterprises in Black and Hispanic communities employing Black and Hispanic workers. PLUM offers insights on how to improve collaborative efforts in a given market and around specific capital access solutions.

The partnership has identified the following solutions to root causes of the minority capital access gap:

  • Expand and customize technical assistance
  • Overcome structural limitations of minority small business lending
  • Improve transparency and efficacy of small business lender engagement
  • Increase equity/patient capital in underserved markets
  • Coordinate urban development
  • Expand small business market opportunities
  • Improve evidence-base for action 

Furthermore, PLUM's local pilot programs and national efforts have yielded many across-the-board lessons learned for collaboration:

  • Overcome data deficits to identify opportunity
  • Engage anchor institutions and local stakeholders and recognize competition
  • Build wider and more targeted networks
  • Use technology as a tool, not a solution
  • Develop culturally-competent marketing, outreach, products, and services
  • Identify champions to promote public policy



Updated/Published April 30, 2018