American Sustainable Business Network Secures Kauffman Foundation Grant to Advance Inclusive Economies Research

Media Release

More than $200K will go toward identifying opportunities, resources, and support for underserved communities

American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN), a movement builder organization committed to inform, connect, and mobilize the business and investor community toward a just and sustainable economy, is the recipient of a $216,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for its participatory community-based research project on public policy solutions, alternative ownership models and community-supported entrepreneurship.

The project, “Catalyzing Community Prosperity through Participatory Action Research,” is a multi-year engagement that will prioritize research and shared learnings from within communities that are underfunded and underserved, as part of the Kauffman Foundation’s Knowledge Challenge program. 

The Knowledge Challenge is a biannual program to support and invest in activities that advance the national conversation around entrepreneurship through practical and rigorous evidence-based research. As a grantee, ASBN will provide actionable evidence and resources that help better understand systemic barriers entrepreneurs face. 

“The playing field is not level,” said Jeffrey Hollender, CEO and co-founder at ASBN. “This reality not only informs our work, but underscores the critical need for an inclusive and stakeholder-driven economy. With support from the Kauffman Foundation, ASBN will have the resources necessary to provide data-driven field analysis on challenging economic structures while fully centering the lived experiences of those most impacted by those structures.”

By bringing together key stakeholders through participatory action research – including community and business leaders, investors, and academics – ASBN will identify scalable best practice cases, observations, and tools necessary to catalyze capital access, investment, deployment, and support for inclusive and community-supportive entrepreneurship.

“After our three-year engagement, ASBN will have produced a body of research that will enable us to develop a roadmap containing guidelines, funding opportunities, community support, and access to resources for community members, policymakers, ESG, and philanthropic organizations to help expand the infrastructure for entrepreneurship,” said Derek Peebles, Director of Inclusive Economies at ASBN. “We are committed to addressing the historic and systemic barriers to capital and opportunity for underserved communities and will continue to partner with organizations like Kauffman who support inclusive prosperity.” 

The project will also include working with Dr. Christina Clamp, an academic researcher known for her use of participatory action research in inclusive economy and alternative ownership research. ASBN values the level of expertise Dr. Clamp brings and is honored to work alongside her to advance forward-thinking research that prioritizes equity and inclusion.

“The research projects selected for this portfolio all look toward the future and will help us better understand the systems and structures needed to support inclusive prosperity,” said Jessica Looze, Director of Knowledge Creation and Research at the Kauffman Foundation

ASBN is proud to partner with the Kauffman Foundation to deliver solutions and resources to better support marginalized communities. This multi-year grant will allow ASBN to deliver tangible and data-driven stakeholder research to ensure greater knowledge and access to resources. In collaboration with the Kauffman Foundation, ASBN will continue to work towards its mission of creating a just and sustainable economy that works for all.

For more information on ASBN or to become a member, visit To receive the latest on key social and environmental legislation impacting the economy, follow ASBN on Twitter at @theASBN

About the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit and connect with us at and