The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation (PDFF) has received a $100,000 grant from Wilmington-based Barclays US Consumer Bank. A portion of this grant is dedicated to the continued support of the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3) to help scale twenty businesses across Delaware in 2023.

E3 was developed in 2020 in partnership with the Wilmington Alliance and through anchor funding from Barclays. To date, Barclays has invested $500,000 to support PDFF’s work in accelerating minority-owned businesses across the state.

“Many entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds lack access to capital and technical resources needed to start, maintain and grow their businesses,” said Jenn Cho, Head of Citizenship at Barclays US Consumer Bank. “Barclays is committed to sparking opportunities in our communities by helping entrepreneurs to connect, innovate and scale, allowing them to build wealth across generations.”

Through PDFF’s ongoing partnership with the Wilmington Alliance, as E3’s New Castle County Lead Regional Partner, six Wilmington-based businesses out of a pool of 20 received additional technical assistance and support. Areas of support include business planning and operations, marketing and promotion, information technology and infrastructure, space planning, and design, access to funding sources, and financial literacy. The six businesses supported by the program are 6AM Run, Breathe Clean, Books & Bagels, Innovative Training Institute, DNA Food Services, and NadjNJea.

“Our E3 Navigator through the foundation has been such an amazing advisor, supporter, and help to us,” said 6AM Run CEO & Founder Hami Mahani. “To sometimes just get support, advice, direction, and pats on the back means so much.”

“We are grateful for partners like Barclays and Wilmington Alliance who understand the value of investing in entrepreneurship,” said PDFF Executive Director Stephanie Johnnie. “Our E3 members are able to scale further and faster in the marketplace thanks to their vision, collaboration, and investments.”

Since 2020, PDFF has held five open application cycles and invested in 41 businesses across the state. In 2022, PDFF launched its E3 Membership Program to allow entrepreneurs to join the ecosystem outside an application cycle, ending the year with 20 new members. E3 Members receive an array of business strategy and growth services that include: access to a vetted pool of service providers, navigation assistance, strategic coaching, monthly webinars, quarterly workshops, networking opportunities, and more.

To learn more about the next E3 application cycle, sign up for the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation’s e-newsletter at

To become an E3 member, visit