Dallas Billionaire Craig Hall Commits $1 Million In Grants For Entrepreneurs
In October 1968, Craig Hall – an entrepreneur, philanthropist, vintner, art collector and New York Times bestselling author – founded HALL Group at age 18 with the purchase of his first rooming house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Purchased with $4,000 he had saved from childhood ventures, the rooming house launched Hall’s 50-year entrepreneurial career, which has seen highs, lows and the creation of a number of highly successful entrepreneurial ventures.
To mark HALL Group’s 50th anniversary, Hall has committed to provide $1 million in grants from the Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation to help nonprofit partners invest in and support entrepreneurs who are most impacted by our country’s opportunity gap. Through partnerships with select nonprofits, this first grant will provide underserved entrepreneurs with critical access to capital, mentorship and other resources through the selected nonprofits, which HALL Group will source.
“We live in a revolutionary time in the U.S., when technology and innovation have really taken hold and entrepreneurship should be booming. But the fact is, the U.S. has a widening opportunity gap for traditional entrepreneurs. In all but certain geographical areas of the country and big technology sectors, U.S. entrepreneurship is struggling,” said Hall. “Although this technology and innovation is benefiting big companies, the rate of startup formation on an annual basis is roughly half of what it was four decades ago, and the situation is even more dire for women and people of color, along with entrepreneurs in many rural regions of the U.S. This $1 million grant is just the starting point for what our foundation intends to do with entrepreneurial non-profit partnerships long-term.”
Female entrepreneurs made up only 4.4 percent of aggregate venture capital deals and only 2.2 percent of venture capital funding in 2017.i In addition, their loans were approved 33 percent less often than those of their male counterparts. The dip from 44 percent of female entrepreneurs in 1997 to just 37 percent in 2016 means we’re closing in on a historic low.ii
People of color represent only 1 percent of startup founders, and The Small Business Association (SBA) reports that “Black/African American-owned firms…[are] 81% less likely to be employers than nonminority firms. Similarly Hispanic-, Native American-, and Pacific Islander-owned firms are about 40% as likely to be employers.”iii According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, the chances of being granted loans are so much lower for people of color than for those of nonminority firms that many minority business owners often won’t bother to apply. When they do receive business loans, they’re usually forced to pay higher interest rates.iv
In the 1980s, 20 percent of U.S. companies started in rural areas. That percentage shrunk to 12.2 percent in 2017.v In fact, 80% of available startup capital goes to just a few markets.
“The more we put roadblocks and increased regulations in people’s way, the more we put the future of our country at risk. My hope is that by increasing awareness of these issues and encouraging policy changes and increased investment in startups, we can reverse these trends and safeguard the future of American entrepreneurship,” said Hall.
Hall is a New York Times bestselling author, and has published six books, with one in the publishing process. His current book – titled BOOM: Bridging the Opportunity Gap to Reignite Startups – is slated to release in spring 2019 and is focused on the current state of entrepreneurship in America and how we can fix it.
v Kauffman Foundation 2017 State of Entrepreneurship report