KeyBank and JumpStart Announce $5M Commitment to Advance Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Economic Growth in Northeast Ohio

With funding from KeyBank Foundation, JumpStart will provide technical services and capital to Cleveland-area Black, Latino/Hispanic and women-owned small business owners and tech entrepreneurs

KeyBank and JumpStart will continue to accelerate the growth of local entrepreneurship through a $5 million, 5-year grant, awarded by the KeyBank Foundation. Leveraging established programming developed under a previous four-year grant partnership, JumpStart and KeyBank will amplify support to regional entrepreneurs with a focus on bridging resource gaps for Black, Latino/Hispanic and women-owned small businesses and tech startups.

“KeyBank’s purpose is to help the communities we serve thrive. We are excited to continue to partner with JumpStart to help Cleveland’s Black, Latino/Hispanic and women small business owners and tech entrepreneurs grow in an equitable and inclusive way,” said KeyBank Cleveland Market President and Commercial Sales Leader Kelly Lamirand. “When all of us have the opportunity to succeed, our community prospers. All of us at KeyBank are looking forward to continuing to work to help our hometown grow.”

Among other initiatives, the funding will be used to deepen the reach and outcomes of JumpStart’s Small Business Impact Program, a 12-week small business accelerator providing industry-specific mentoring, high-impact technical services and up to $10,000 in grant capital per participant. Support from KeyBank helped JumpStart grow and expand this program.

Impact Program alumna, Cathy Cross opened her first gourmet ice cream shop in downtown Cleveland in the spring of 2018. Cathy’s Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches serves clientele in an upbeat and inviting atmosphere. A 100% woman/minority-owned company, Cathy’s now has three locations—two in Atlanta and one in Cleveland—with two more coming this year. “We are growing every day with new employees and stores,” said Cross. “Our mission is to bring happy smiles and a fantastic working environment to the community.”

The Impact Program helped Cathy mature from a small business to a growing enterprise and Cathy continues to lean on JumpStart advisors as she expands. “JumpStart continues to support our growth in many ways, helping us scale and create more income opportunities from our team members, managers and administrative professions,” she said.

Other small business initiatives supported by the KeyBank grant include one-on-one advising, educational programming and networking opportunities.

Additionally, the funding supports a tech equity initiative aimed at bridging gaps between tech founders of color and the many resources available to Ohio-based innovation startups. Through this initiative, and in partnership with other community organizations, Black and Latino/Hispanic tech entrepreneurs receive technical services, advising and pathways to capital through a shared Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

“This new funding allows us to build on the significant impact we’ve been able to achieve together,” said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “We are grateful to Key for their continued partnership and commitment to equity and entrepreneurship, especially during a period of economic recovery, opportunity and growth.”