Where It Starts is a Truist Foundation multi-year initiative designed to create meaningful change for entrepreneurs and career-seekers in underserved communities. Partnering with local and national nonprofits, we’re building new, innovative programs that break down barriers and open doors for growth and success.
Fresh solutions for better opportunities
Where It Starts is about working hand-in-hand with local organizations to identify obstacles faced by those striving to better their lives within our communities.
Together, we’re bringing new ideas to the table to help remove those obstacles. Because we know creating real solutions—ones that open career pathways, strengthen small businesses, and tackle inequities—demands outside-the-box thinking and a whole-human approach.
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Where does change start? It starts when a struggling single father finds a free online certificate program that could lead to a bigger paycheck and a chance to finally put a little away for their future or when a young entrepreneur with dreams of a fashion empire gets an investment that lets her take her game to the next level and when a food truck owner finds the funding to finally open a brick and mortar he's always wanted.
At the Truist Foundation, we're working to change communities for the better by creating career pathways and strengthening small businesses in the places we call home. By partnering with amazing local organizations, we're breaking down barriers to success and lifting up members of underserved communities one neighborhood at a time. Caring for communities, investing in people, nurturing potential-- this is where it starts.
Meet our partners
Truist Foundation awarded grants to three anchor partners who will spearhead efforts that align with our focus, helping to dismantle complex systems of oppression and inspire long-term change in our neighborhoods.
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
What they do:
CAEL works to strengthen the education-to-career pipeline for adult learners.
Where It Starts project:
Build Better Careers
Supported by Truist Foundation, CAEL will develop connections between postsecondary institutions, the financial services sector, and workforce development organizations to provide better access to economic mobility.
This six-year project will be offered across five cities to provide adult learners with access to affordable postsecondary classes, connect more job seekers to higher-wage jobs and long-term career opportunities, and encourage financial services organizations to hire more adult learners and set them up for success.
Living Cities works to close racial income and wealth gaps in the U.S., while Main Street America seeks to advance economic development.
Where It Starts project:
Breaking Barriers to Business
Together with Truist Foundation, these organizations will collaborate with local decision-makers to help deconstruct the systems that have historically kept Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs from accessing information that could elevate their businesses.
This multi-year project will be offered across four cities to empower local community leaders to design anti-racist strategies that address the needs of BIPOC small business owners and develop curated resources and tools that will be widely shared.