Entrepreneurs Access Network

Entrepreneurs aren't determined by race. Their potential shouldn't be either. Entrepreneurs Access Network teams with Black and Latinx founders to transcend barriers and scale their businesses.

EY announces inaugural cohort of EAN program


Minority-owned companies contribute greatly to the US economy (4.7 million jobs) and capital market ($700b annual revenue). But many Black and Latinx businesses cannot reach their full potential due to barriers that make funding, capital and connections difficult to attain. As an expansion of our current programs that help entrepreneurs succeed (35 years of Entrepreneur Of The Year®; 12 years Entrepreneurial Winning Women™), EY has developed the Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN) to help Black and Latinx companies bridge the disparity gap and achieve new heights.

In 2016, 1% of venture capital dollars went to Black and Latinx founders and that number has not swayed much to date. VCs are missing out on a trillion-dollar opportunity*. Considering minority businesses produced approximately US$700b revenue in 2019, supporting these underserved entrepreneurs is a must to enrich and strengthen our economy and our communities.
Sam R. Johnson
EY Americas Vice Chair – Accounts

EAN is a business accelerator program, as well as an always-on learning community. It leverages EY tools, services, events, and professionals to help companies scale and grow by complementing their current leadership activities. EAN utilizes an immersive platform built on three foundational pillars — business community ecovillage for networking, curated growth drivers to scale, and an expansive capital network for funding. EAN will team with a web of like-minded companies and organizations dedicated to making sure Black and Latinx founders achieve sustained success.

There are two program paths to broaden the reach — a curated,* class-based learning program and an on-demand, self-instructional educational component. *Flexibility on criteria will be based on the scalability of the company.

  • Eligibility

    • Applicants must be Black or Latinx business owners who are founding CEOs and majority owners* of any privately held company in the US. The company must be more than two years old and 51% minority (Black/Latinx) owned.
    • If there are multiple co-founders, they may apply as a group if they meet the ownership criteria.
    • Only for-profit businesses may apply.
    • Former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award and Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM winners are eligible to utilize the resources available through the On-Demand platform.

    *For those who have sought outside investment, the founding entrepreneur may still apply if majority ownership stake is retained after deducting all outside investments.

  • Benefits

    Those joining the Entrepreneurs Access Network community will:

    • Join an elite network of the country’s best entrepreneurs
    • Be part of a community of Black and Latinx high-growth company leaders
    • Experience an educational platform designed for today’s busy executive
    • Invited to webcasts featuring top business leaders and organizations
    • Be assigned an EY professional as an EAN advisor to help guide through Curated platform journey
    • Access to self-paced learning platforms via EAN Online Resource Library for Curated and OnDemand participants
    • Receive a complimentary invitation to the virtual 2020 Strategic Growth Forum® US, the country’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies, bringing together more than 2,000 of the nation’s top executives, entrepreneurs, advisors, investors and other business leaders.
  • Criteria and selection

    Emerging enterprise*

    • 2+ years in business
    • Up to US$5 million revenue
    • 51% minority ownership
    • Executive aptitude/scalability

    Established enterprise*

    • 5+ years in business
    • US$6 million or more revenue
    • 51% minority ownership
    • Scalability

    We’re committed to zero barriers for all. Thus, in parallel to curated programs, an online learning module will be open to entrepreneurs at all revenue, ownership and operational maturity levels.

  • Frequently asked questions

    How does one apply for the EAN program? 

    Applications for the EAN OnDemand program launches February 2021. Applications for the 2022 EAN Curated program launches July 2021.

    Why did EY teams create EAN? 

    Financial health makes minority-owned enterprises three times as likely to close versus non-minority owned businesses. During first few months of this year, there was a decline in Black (41%) and Latinx (32%) owned companies compared to non-minority (17%) entrepreneurs. If race, networks and funding barriers for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs were equal to non-minority founders, all communities would benefit. EAN was created to address these obstacles.

    What are the benefits for entrepreneurs who participate? 

    EAN is an educational program (no fee) developed for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. For Curated program participants, EAN aligns an EY executive to help provide access to resources, capital, network opportunities and other growth drivers for their company. On-Demand program participants will access online resources and be part of a community of outstanding Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.

    What are the requirements and program demand for businesses? 

    Applicants must be a Black or Latinx-owner or leader of a scalable company which has been in business for more than two years and is 51%+ Black or Latinx-owned. 

    What does the EAN program involve? 

    EAN is designed to be manageable 12-month program for busy executives. The Curated platform include a company assessment, alignment with a relationship advisor and a customized curriculum based on needs and maturity of the company. The On-Demand platform is a self-paced model with access to the EAN online resource library. Both program platforms also include participating in a series of educational programs, events, networking opportunities and media exposure (regional and national).

    How will EAN participants be selected and notified? 

    Nominations will be reviewed by an EAN selection committee. EAN will notify companies of their acceptance on a rolling basis, beginning November 2020.

    Does this program cost? 

    The EY Entrepreneurs Access Network program does not have a financial cost to the participant. The participant is expected to participate in full program lifecycle.

  • Platform


The greatest equalizer of wealth disparity is business ownership

On average, minority business owners have a median net worth 12 times higher than those who do not own businesses.

Without equitable access, the future of many Black and Latinx-owned businesses and millions of jobs hangs in the balance. If action isn't taken, the overall impact will be significant. These companies won't scale — thus reducing their potential to employ others and to create wealth and prosperity for the founders and their communities.
Lee Henderson
Americas EY Private Leader; Executive Sponsor, EY Entrepreneurs Access Network

Access the EAN Online Resource Library

Discover assessment tools, industry insights, webcast replays and more.

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Meet the EAN inaugural

Introducing the founders and entrepreneurs for the 2021 EAN program.

Curated program

OnDemand program

EY’s commitment to anti-racism in the US

Systemic racism, discrimination and injustice is a human rights crisis. We vow to be a voice and force for change.

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