Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren wants to boost the number of minority entrepreneurs in America, and she wants the government to help.
Warren proposed legislation Friday that would allocate $7 billion in federal grants to help more minority entrepreneurs start businesses, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The funds would be provided in the form of grants, Warren says, to "help businesses thrive from the beginning without having to worry about ongoing financial obligations or the risk of default," as opposed to loans or loan guarantees, which eventually must be paid back, regardless of startup success.
As part of the plan, all grants will be limited to entrepreneurs who are eligible for the Small Business Administration's existing 8(a) program--an assistance program aimed at minority business owners--and who have less then $100,000 in household wealth.
Additionally, Warren proposed to fund with what she refers to as an "ultra-millionaire tax," or an annual 2 percent tax on wealth above $50 million and an additional 1 percent tax on wealth above $1 billion.
"Why $7 billion in funding? That's enough to ensure that if black, Latinx, and Native American entrepreneurs started businesses at the same rate as white entrepreneurs, we could fully close the startup capital gap for every single one of these new minority-owned businesses for the next 10 years," Warren wrote on the blogging site Medium. "That means supporting 100,000 new minority-owned businesses, which together would be expected to provide 1.1 million jobs."
It's likely a topic that will come up during the first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday, June 26, in Miami. Warren will be onstage alongside nine other nominees including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke. It's the first of two debates that week, the second being on Thursday, June 27, featuring 10 other candidates.