JP Morgan Chase: Entrepreneurs of Color Fund

Originally Published by JP Morgan Chase: Corporate Responsibility Report April 2019

Deon Lucas | E.G. Woode | Chicago, Illinois

Chicago native Deon Lucas developed a passion for architecture in high school, and joined a large firm after college. But he’s always been an entrepreneur at heart. In 2016, Lucas saw an opportunity to start his own architecture practice, as well as to design space for other small businesses.

After bringing together other small business owners in the Englewood area, Lucas was awarded a grant for the development of real estate projects. He then turned to the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund for the capital to purchase a vacant 4,000-square-foot space in Englewood, which will include his firm, a co-op barbershop and café, and a retail consignment shop. “When you go to a lender or investor, they often expect you to be at a certain level before they want to do business with you,” Lucas says. “But people aren’t there because they haven’t been given the chance yet.”

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