It is well documented that small business creation and the associated job growth will be a key driver of sustained US economic growth in the 21st century. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young small businesses in the U.S. create 70% of all new domestic jobs.


Since the 2008 financial crisis, US small business creation has diminished due to the lack of access to capital and weakened consumer spending. This trend is particularly challenging for women and diverse businesses, who are most likely to hire other minorities and women as employees, and who also produce goods and services for minority and women consumers.

By 2050, the United States will be a majority-minority nation, and without the development of a robust pipeline of minority and women entrepreneurs and businesses, our economy will face a significant shortage of world class talent and innovation for economic growth.


Formerly, The Marathon Club, The Marathon Foundation (TMF) is a philanthropic member organization whose mission is to accelerate the development of strategic relationships that will create "Access to Capital", "Develop Talent" and "Create Deals".

TMF is a highly inclusive diverse network of deal-focused professionals including business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate and investment executives and industry advocates. Our thought leadership and programs provide members with unique access to industry experts, mentors and peers as well as critical capacity building, skills development and entrepreneurial training in support of the next generation of business owners.

Marathon is a business development and deal flow eco-system focused on the business opportunities serving the annual $6 trillion diverse marketplace, one of the US's fastest growing economic sectors. This eco-system provides members with end-to-end education, professional development, best practices, thought leadership and access to capital. Our members are made up of experienced entrepreneurs, mid-career corporate professional, Fortune 500s, leading brands and consumer information services companies.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Marathon Foundation promotes diverse and women entrepreneurial development, education and business growth vital to our economy's continued global competitiveness.


Vernon N. Lee, Jr.

{ view bio }

Duane McKnight

{ view bio }

J. Darrel Barros

{ view bio }