Black Wealth Data Center + DataKind Launch First Prototype of Business Indicators Tool at NYC Open Data Week
April 04, 2023

Racial wealth equity will be more attainable when leaders create programs, policies, and strategies that are informed by data and take into account historical factors. Currently, it’s hard to know what’s working and not working, what assets exist in Black communities, and what needs to be done to effect change. Comprehensive and up-to-date Black wealth data will show leaders where and how to invest to disrupt systemic inequities and generate sustained Black wealth accumulation.

DataKind partnered with the Black Wealth Data Center in a program supported by to develop a tool that will help Black entrepreneurs access Small Business Administration (SBA) funding. Last year, we released, an easy-to-use data resource that provides comprehensive data, enabling government, civil society, and the business community access to the big picture. 


Every year, New York City’s civic tech and open data communities come together online and across the five boroughs to celebrate New York City’s Open Data Law, which was signed into law on March 7, 2012, and International Open Data Day, which falls on the same week. This year, DataKind used the event to update our communities on our work with the Black Wealth Data Center, and the first prototype of our new investment tool, the Data Observation Toolkit (DOT). 

DataKind discussed some insights specific to NYC, such as how using HUD Opportunity Zones as one indicator was a great addition, and opened up a host of possibilities for more data exploration. In addition, the NYC data show a large gap between where Black entrepreneurs are, and where lenders are investing, which could offer some clear policy solutions.

DataKind built datasets to address specific problems, such as underinvestment in Black businesses and lack of access to financial institutions in Black communities. The goal is that by building a comprehensive profile with detailed and current data, the tool will be used by government and financing institutions to set policy and distribute capital funds. 

Next steps for the partnership include measuring the current funding flowing into these geographies, looking at Black-owned banks, and measuring the impact of minority business coaching programs, home ownership, and the density of businesses and universities. 

Check out the prototype of the tool here. 

Header image courtesy of iStock/Vadym Pastukh.

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