Warren Rolls Out $7 Billion Plan to Boost Minority Entrepreneurs

US
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, March 9, 2019. (Sergio Flores/Reuters)

Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the top Democratic contenders for the White House, rolled out a $7 billion proposal Friday that would provide minority entrepreneurs with grants to start new businesses.

“Today, the playing field is tilted against entrepreneurs of color. On average, Black, Latinx, Native American, and other minority households have a lot less wealth than white households,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote in a blog post. “Because the government helped create that wealth gap with decades of sanctioned discrimination, the government has an obligation to address it head on — with bold policies that go right at the heart of the problem.”

The plan, called the Small Business Equity Fund, would earmark $7 billion to help close the “startup capital gap for entrepreneurs of color.” Grants would be available to minority entrepreneurs, including women, with a household wealth of under $100,000.

The program would be funded by Warren’s “ultra-millionaire tax” on taxpayers with a household worth upward of $50 million, a two-cent tax for every dollar. It would be subject to federal standards and accountability but run by states and municipalities. And Warren predicted that it would create 1.1 million jobs.

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Warren, who now sits in third nationally in the crowded Democratic presidential field, behind Senator Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden, has gained a reputation as a candidate with detailed and specific policy proposals. The progressive senator has run on a platform of reducing wealth inequality, reassuring supporters with her tagline, “I have a plan for that.”

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