One of the most effective ways to increase the number of entrepreneurs is to provide access to affordable housing. There are numerous long-term benefits that are provided to communities who provide affordable housing. One of the most significant advantages that affordable housing provides is the ability to live in proximity to opportunities. It is no secret that areas that provide the biggest opportunities to become successful have enormous housing costs and enforce strict housing regulations. For example, the median housing cost in San Francisco is just shy of a million dollars and the median rent is over three-thousand dollars. Another issue that unaffordable hosing presents is the prevention of young entrepreneurs from being near capital investors and talent that could be a factor in a business thriving or failing. Many of the most innovative and dynamic individuals in our country are unable to adequately pursue their business ideas because of these housing issues. This is something that needs to change. One way to create this change is to make the process of building hosing easier and more affordable. In big cities, zoning ordinances are very restrictive and create major problems for the people that want to construct housing. Furthermore, the taxes and lawyer fees are significant additional costs that make the process even more difficult and after paying all of these expenses, there is no guarantee that the housing plans will be approved. Creating this change and making housing affordable will allow for more innovation and ultimately will lead to economic growth. The Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) supply low to moderate income entrepreneurs with the legal services needed for starting and maintaining their business.
Another way to increase the number of entrepreneurs and boost economic growth is to continue fighting against discrimination. Housing discrimination has a domino effect and ultimately ends with individuals’ ideas being suppressed or deemed unobtainable. When housing discrimination causes people to be evicted, many times they are relocated to a high poverty community. This has a significant impact on their ability to obtain opportunities and it negatively affects their education. Additionally, discrimination on loans in general is another barrier to increasing entrepreneurs and benefiting economic growth. Researchers tested this theory and discovered that people of color are scrutinized much more when applying for a loan even though all of the multiracial testers had identical backgrounds. All of these factors have a direct impact on the entrepreneur’s ability to start a business and become successful.
Ultimately, NELP offers legal services that are important for entrepreneurs who suffer because of their inability to secure affordable housing and have to deal with discrimination. Clients are also afforded the opportunity to discuss legal matters with attorneys, have access to presentations on small business legal issues, and are provided the opportunity to receive direct pro bono representation. These services provide low income individuals the opportunity to create a successful business and access to exceptional legal services