Economic Mobility

Economic mobility – or increasing income and wealth to improve life outcomes - is a critical indicator of robust economic growth and thriving communities. To maximize mobility for all, smart communities need to advance an equitable growth strategy that creates quality jobs, increases human potential and expands opportunity for everyone.

Pursuing an equitable growth strategy will make us stronger.

Unlock the Potential

In 2019, had there been no gaps in income by race, Greater Cincinnati's GDP would have been $9.2 billion [1] stronger. What this indicates is that opening higher paying roles to people of color will boost the economy for everyone.  Yet in Ohio, Black incomes has fallen compared to White’s [2] - from 92 cents on the dollar in 1979 to 76 cents in 2019. Workers of color need to be in higher quality jobs to ensure greater economic mobility for all.

By 2040, people of color will make up nearly half of Hamilton County [3]. Unlocking the potential of this diverse workforce will be a boon to our regional economy.

Business leaders, community advocates and elected officials increasingly recognize inequity hinders economic growth. They understand the tremendous opportunity in front of us lies in racial and economic inclusion. Wage and employment gaps by race have not only been bad for people of color—they have held back our entire economy. When wages rise in communities, so does consumer spending and the quality of neighborhoods. Rising income is a key driver of economic growth and job creation.

By eliminating racial disparities and the income gap, we can strengthen families, communities and the local economy for everyone.

Annual Fund

The Annual Fund fuels Greater Cincinnati Foundation's community leadership work, such as economic mobility. Be part of the change.

Economic mobility for Black women

Black women present the best opportunity for economic mobility and growth in the Greater Cincinnati region. Black women have a high desire to participate in the workforce, with a prime-age labor force participation rate of 78.3% in the region [4]. As of 2020, an astounding 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or currently running new businesses [5].

Narrowing the gap in income [4] between Black women and other demographics presents the next growth opportunity for our region.

Just as sidewalk curb cuts benefit everyone – not only those with physical disabilities – so would removing barriers for Black women seeking opportunities for quality jobs.  Economic mobility takes us all to greater heights. 

Learn more about why leveraging Black women's talent, education and skills will boost the local economy and create economic opportunities for everyone.

Investing in Economic Mobility

Strategic planning and data-driven decision making ensure that GCF can connect people with purpose and form partnerships to tackle the most pressing issues in the region. GCF has taken a leadership role in addressing racial equity and improving economic mobility for Black women by investing in initiatives that assist individuals and their families in becoming self-sufficient, staying healthy, building wealth, and accessing quality jobs and business opportunities. 


UpTogether provides low-income families with cash to achieve their goals as they contribute their data to a national platform that helps support social capital as it tracks progress towards those goals. This data has shown meaningful increases in income and savings with corresponding decreases in dependence on public assistance.

Learn more


ECDI partnership

Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) and Women's Business Center of Greater Cincinnati provide access to coaching, mentorships, networking opportunities, loans and co-working spaces for Black women-owned small businesses. This effort expands job creation, revenue and tax dollars for our region.

Learn more

Make a Difference

GCF cannot do the work alone. We need the collective wisdom, will and action of the community to create a vibrant and equitable region for everyone.

Join us in the movement.

Download the employer toolkit to learn how your business can attract and retain a diverse workforce.

Register for an upcoming Racial Equity Matters educational series to understand the barriers and opportunities for supporting diversity and inclusion in our region.



[1] PolicyLink/USC Equity Research Institute, National Equity Atlas,
[2] Policy Matters Ohio 2021:
[3] PolicyLink/USC Equity Research Institute, National Equity Atlas,
[4] The Women’s Fund and Economics Center of University of Cincinnati,  (2021) Realizing the Potential of an Equitable Economy
[5] Harvard Business Review 2021,