In the United States today, the top 10% of the population holds 76% of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 50% holds just 1%. A major reason for that disparity is the transfer of wealth from generation to generation. Creating generational wealth is a focal point in lessening the racial wealth gap and increasing the concentration of wealth in the United States.

Our April lunch featured a fantastic presentation on how the Russell Technology Business Incubator (RTBI), is creating legacy for Black and LatinX companies in Louisville’s West End. Huge thanks to Monica Stewart, Director of Operations for AMPED and RTBI, for stepping in for Dave Christopher, who had a family emergency. Our thoughts are with Dave and his family.

The Russell Neighborhood was once known as “Louisville’s Harlem” for its strong African American business presence, but the area took a major decline after World War II. Household poverty rates in the neighborhood are 3.5 times higher than the general Louisville population, and 60% of the households live below the poverty threshold. The mission RTBI is to create a space for economic growth, mobility, entrepreneurship and independence.

RTBI is designed as a state-of-the-art, Black business incubator and technology service center offering business development training, business services, assessments, referrals and wraparound services to incubating businesses. RTBI provides the support small businesses need to launch in West Louisville communities. By providing these services, small businesses and entrepreneurs can maximize their potential for success, lift themselves and their families out of poverty, change the trajectory of their lives for the better and create generational wealth — the ability to pass assets from one generation to another including family businesses.

Monica introduced the incredible team at RTBI, and shared how the incubator prepares founders to successfully launch or relaunch profitable, legacy businesses. She went over how the application process works and some of the essential training founders receive, including a capital readiness assessment, coaching sessions and wealth strategy workshops.