Propeller is a New Orleans-based nonprofit organization with the mission of supporting entrepreneurs to tackle social and environmental disparities. Propeller seeks to build a community of diverse entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits, and other stakeholders that work together to ensure an equitable society.
Propeller believes that the New Orleans region’s water challenges must be addressed by both engaged communities and creative local businesses. By supporting businesses who can positively scale solutions that impact coastal and urban water environments and ensuring that water projects are developed and financed equitably, Propeller seeks to make sure that innovative solutions can flourish while disparities are reduced.
Propeller is well aware that different communities within and outside New Orleans face differing levels of impact from natural disasters and hazards. For example, the flooding after Hurricane Katrina impacted 38 out of 47 extreme poverty neighborhoods in the city. In the coastal communities of Theriot and Dulac, four out of every ten people live in poverty.
One way that Propeller addresses these combined issues of flooding and inequality is by supporting small businesses and nonprofits through its accelerator programs and incubator facility. For example, Greenman Dan is a company that builds underground rain harvesting systems and other green infrastructure projects, aiding neighborhoods most vulnerable to flooding from stormwater. Another company, Coastal Communities Consulting, provides technical assistance, economic development, social services, and disaster recovery services to 1,200 commercial fishermen and their families.
Propeller also supports minority-owned, local, and small businesses. By encouraging the growth of these enterprises, Propeller helps establish Louisiana as a premium market for seafood, vessel construction, and training for the next generation of green infrastructure and water sector professionals.
Communities of Color