Introducing Nusenda Foundation's Financial Education Innovator Award

Nominate an Innovator

City Alive

New Mexico was built upon entrepreneurship. It was built by those who made their lives on the land, by those who traveled thousands of miles for a better life, by those who made cities of adobe that are still standing today.

There’s no doubt – New Mexicans are resourceful. And there’s no question, entrepreneurship isn’t just part of New Mexicans’ past – it is the key to their future.

City Alive is living up to its name – seizing the future by invigorating Albuquerque to unlock its full potential, and by bringing out an age of opportunity to all in this city who seek it. It is a collective impact initiative, meaning that there are people from all different walks – from government and philanthropy, to business and education leaders, all who support the people who are growing jobs right here at home.

Founded in 2015, City Alive’s vision is to grow jobs and increase average median household income in Albuquerque, which in 2016 was $7,617 lower than the national average.

Through this additional job creation and economic mobility, the organization’s aim is to increase annual income to at or above the national average, and to reduce the unemployment rate to 4.5 percent by 2025.

City Alive’s focus is to engage leaders and service providers to help collect community feedback and to provide guidance in five strategy development areas: business, talent/skill, community, entrepreneurship and inclusion, and availability to capital.

Because of its ongoing work, entrepreneurs in Albuquerque have more access to the technical assistance and peer-city advice; access to capacity building and planning resources; potential access to new capital; and exposure to a growing network of public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders to ensure their work is supported and on the right track.

This program is funded in part by Living Cities, which harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convening’s catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. 

Since it's inception, City Alive has: 

  • Loaned $485,000 to entrepreneurs through our Co-op Capital program.

  • Leveraged $8.5 million in funding for Innovate ABQ construction.

  • Saved students $23,000 in tuition and fees through the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College’s 2+1+2 program

  • Developed a strategic plan to provide wrap-around support for entrepreneurs, with a special focus on low-income entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color.


Living Cities Blogs by Chief Strategist, Robin Brulé