Due Date: 10/25/21
Funder: The POC Collaborative
About the POC Collaborative
The mission of POC Collaborative is to serve as a collaborative hub in North Omaha for elevating BIPOC voices, launching entrepreneurial innovation, activating investments, and amplifying the legacy of our community. The Collaborative is committed to providing area residents with access to updated technology, entrepreneur and small business trainings, co-working spaces, and back-office support for small nonprofits, community space for residents to engage, and much more.
To maintain a healthy state economy, innovation and entrepreneurship must be stimulated and supported. However, significant disparities are impacting the economic stability among communities of color in Omaha, Nebraska. For instance, Omaha’s unemployment rate for BIPOC individuals is almost twice the rate of their white counterparts. Moreover, when looking at job access, there is a disconnect between the jobs available and the skill set of the labor force seeking employment. (https://omahafoundation.org/indicator/workforce/) Covid-19 exacerbated these challenges and created new obstacles for those who were self-employed and operating small businesses.
Nebraska Enterprise Fund, a Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, found that during the pandemic many of the small businesses they serve were ineligible for PPP loans because of bookkeeping mistakes. Issues like this are preventable. While entrepreneurship empowers individuals and creates jobs; it can take years to understand the nuances of operating a business—especially without resources and support. Investing in business development infrastructure can address some of these concerns.
In January 2020, Senator Terrell McKinney introduced LB 450; which is a legislative bill that proposed sponsorship by the state of Nebraska to house innovation hubs in the Omaha community to foster entrepreneurship and economic growth in the Omaha community where it is needed most. The bill acknowledged that to maintain a healthy state economy and to aid in communities, innovation, and entrepreneurship, small businesses must be stimulated and supported. This intended to meet this need by establishing innovation hubs to serve as locations where aspiring business owners can gain resources and tools for their endeavors. This, presumable, would help stimulate economic growth in communities across Omaha.
The motivation for this study was generated through the lens that fostering entrepreneurship and innovation can promote economic growth, promote employment opportunities, and help marginalized communities thrive. However, multiple information deficits prevent informed implementation of a project this vast. This study would provide an avenue for exploring the opportunities and needs for a multi-faceted project of establishing an entrepreneurship hub in targeted Omaha communities. A landscape assessment and market analysis would help reveal who would be best suited for the management and oversight of a prospective innovation hub; what opportunities and human capital are readily available in the targeted Omaha community; and how to strategically design and implement a successful entrepreneurial innovation hu that would have an immediate positive impact on entrepreneurs and consumers alike.
POC Collaborative Community Resource Center is issuing this Request For Proposals (RFP) for the development and implementation of a landscape assessment and market analysis for the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Innovation Hub (iHub) that will significantly benefit Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-led businesses in the North Omaha area of Omaha, NE. This RFP seeks proposals that will require 3 phases of work, including 1) the systematic review of similar iHub zones within BIPOC- majority neighborhoods in communities of comparable size to Omaha, NE; 2) the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from current and prospective BIPOC entrepreneurs and consumers located in the North Omaha area targeted for the establishment of an iHub zone, and 3) the writing and presentation of a written report of the study findings and recommendations for creating opportunities within the target iHub zone in the North Omaha area. This project will be a valuable study to current and prospective entrepreneurs, consumers, developers, and government officials with an interest in revitalizing North Omaha via community-led entrepreneurship while discouraging development via gentrification.
This is a large-scale, multi-phased project to catalyze existing community-based resources and entrepreneurial interests to bring in a new era of BIPOC-led commercial development in North Omaha. The POC Collaborative Community Resource Center is committed to using data and BIPOC- centered perspectives to enhance the integrity of this project. BIPOC-led and/or BIPOC-majority investigative teams are strongly encouraged for this RFP.
Study Objectives and Scope of Work
This project calls for a multi-phase study of the North Omaha community that is targeted for the establishment of an entrepreneurship innovation hub. As noted above, the goals of this project are to 1) systematically review similar iHub zones within BIPOC-majority neighborhoods in communities of comparable size to Omaha, NE; 2) collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data from current and prospective BIPOC entrepreneurs and consumers located in the North Omaha area targeted for the establishment of an iHub zone; and 3) provide a written report and presentation of the study findings and recommendations for creating entrepreneurship innovation opportunities within the target iHub zone in North Omaha, NE.
The initial phase of the study requires a systematic literature review of existing data regarding similar entrepreneurship innovation zones in cities and regions of similar size and composition to the target location in North Omaha. The team should review primary and secondary data and literature used in the development of innovation zones comparable to the proposed iHub zone in North Omaha. The literature review should go beyond just documenting existing entrepreneurship zones and the facts relevant to the establishment of the zone. The review should also highlight the strengths and successes of the existing zones while identifying the specific factors that contributed to the positive outcomes. Challenges, opportunities, and gaps should also be documented along with recommendations for avoiding such outcomes in the establishment of an entrepreneurship innovation zone in North Omaha, NE. Further, the team should describe, to the extent possible, how existing zones have been measured and how the data have been used to inform policy and programmatic work.
Deliverable: The outcome of this phase of work will be a written report to the POC Collaborative Community Resource Center. The written report must be submitted by January 10, 2022.
The second phase requires a rigorous study of the existing and future potential resources, needs, and challenges that would affect the establishment of an entrepreneurship innovation zone in the North Omaha area of Omaha, NE. Teams should consider both qualitative and quantitative data, as appropriate, to provide a nuanced and in-depth assessment of the North Omaha entrepreneurial landscape. Qualitative methods may include in-depth interviews with key stakeholders; community listening sessions; focus groups with key stakeholders, and other systematic qualitative data collection techniques. Quantitative methods may include structured surveys, door-to-door surveys,
and other analytical techniques that would illuminate trends and patterns related to existing and prospective entrepreneurship activities and consumer demand in North Omaha. Moreover, research teams are encouraged to pay special attention to the views of the demographic and culturally- predominant BIPOC composition of North Omaha with a focus on age, gender, race, ethnicity, religiosity, marital status, as well as other markers of social identity such as political ideology. Deliverable: The outcome of this phase of work will be a written report to the POC Collaborative Community Resource Center with a summary of the data collection methods, results, analysis, and recommendations based on the outcomes. The written report must be submitted by April 29, 2022.
The final phase requires the completion of a comprehensive report, executive summary, estimates budget for implementing recommendations, and in-person presentation of the findings from Phases 1 and 2 of the study. The report should provide a high-level summary of the Phase 1 findings from entrepreneurship innovation zones in comparable cities and communities to Omaha and North Omaha, NE. The results and interpretation of the Phase 2 data collection and analysis should include recommendations for leveraging the results of the landscape study and market analysis in the design and implementation of the creation of iHub, an entrepreneurship innovation zone in North Omaha, NE.
The written comprehensive report, separate executive summary, and budget must be submitted by June 13, 2022. The in-person presentation should be developed concurrently alongside the written deliverable. The in-person presentation to iHub stakeholders and relevant community partners must be completed by July 1, 2022.
How to Apply
Interested teams are encouraged to outline their overall approach to conducting the work, incorporating collaborative partnerships with outside experts or agencies as necessary. The proposal should reflect a thoughtful examination of entrepreneurship innovation zones as a tool for economic revitalization in BIPOC-majority communities. In addition, the research team may consider proposing a process for seeking specific content-area expertise.
Proposals should include, as an appendix, a detailed line-item budget and accompanying narrative. The narrative should provide a detailed justification for all project expenses. Direct project costs should include personnel, travel, equipment, material, and other related costs. Administrative expenses may be included as direct costs as appropriate. If the team plans to work with other organizational partners and anticipates issuing sub-contracts or sub-awards, these direct costs may also be included in the budget. Indirect costs should not exceed 10% of total direct costs for both the research team and any sub-contracts.
Timeline of RFP Award
The POC Collaborative Community Resource Center will search for an investigative team. Interested teams should submit a proposal of no more than five pages by 5:00 PM CST on Monday, October 25, 2021.
The proposal should describe the team’s interest in leading this work; background and expertise as related to this project including a demographic profile of key team members (e.g. – race, ethnicity, location, etc.); preliminary thoughts regarding methodological approaches and applicable strategies across all phases; and the institutional support and resources the team would bring to this project. Proposals should follow the guidelines described below. After reviewing the proposals, the POC Collaborative Community Resource Center will select finalist teams and will engage each team in a discussion with the key project partners and ask questions about the team’s proposal. It will also enable candidate teams to ask clarifying questions about the project. Based on these discussions, one team will be selected to undertake this work.
In reviewing and evaluating each proposal, we will consider the following:
Demonstrated grasp of and appreciation for the key literature and context
Alignment of the research objectives, methodology, and analysis plan
The ability of the team to implement, coordinate and supervise all proposed activities
Feasibility of the team to communicate and coordinate effectively and responsively with all stakeholders; and
A budget that is well justified and closely aligned with the scope of work.
All proposals should be sent to Katrina Adams, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
Proposals are due October 25, 2021.