Open4 was a partnership of community-based organizations and funders who worked together to connect entrepreneurs and small businesses with resources, support and guidance.
The three-year initiative was formed in early 2020 to help small businesses overcome the challenge of accessing the right capital and support necessary to grow – a challenge that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Open4 Fund was created at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo by a group of foundations and corporations to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Western New York and Rochester regions, with a specific focus on businesses owned by women and people of color in underserved, low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
Over the course of three years, Open4 invested over $4 million in organizations that bring resources and expertise to entrepreneurs and small businesses that need it most.
The Open4 initiative and funding sunsetted in September 2023. Collaborative efforts to support the small business community will continue through the Regional Revitalization Partnership (RRP), a $300 million private and public co-investment in three interconnected geographic areas: East Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Rochester. This community-driven strategy takes a holistic approach to economic development designed to strengthen the region’s ecosystem and build community wealth through multiple paths. Small Business, with a focus on enterprises owned by women and people of color, is one of RRP’s three core focus areas.
This website will remain in place through the end of 2024 so that grantee progress and small business success stories can continue to be shared. The Open4 team expresses its gratitude to our funders and partners.