At the core of the Case Foundation’s Inclusive Entrepreneurship work is finding solutions that allow all innovators, specifically women and people of color, to explore and participate in the entrepreneurship arena and all it has to offer.
As a part of the 2017 Summer Essence Festival, I had the pleasure to host an engaging panel discussion with Kristen Sonday, Co-Founder of Paladin (and a #FacesofFounders winner!), Kathryn Finney, Founder of digitalundivided and Brian Brackeen, CEO and Founder of Kairos. These changemakers are disrupting the image of who is and can be an entrepreneur and are part of a movement to seize the opportunity that inclusive entrepreneurship provides and dramatically change the distribution of capital required to make that happen.
On the Essence Festival stage, we had thoughtful and action-oriented conversation trying to unbundle what’s at play behind the following set of stats: If women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, particularly black women, women-led businesses are outperforming their male peers in many VC portfolios and racially-diverse companies are outperforming industry norms by 35 percent, why does so little capital go their way? For context, less than 10 percent of venture-backed companies have a female founder; less than one percent have a black founder; less than one percent have a Latinx founder, and; a mere 0.2 percent have a black female founder.
These statistics make up the backdrop to the great conversation we had on stage. Key themes we covered are:
Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not.
It’s not just about the financial capital; social capital is hugely important.
He (because it’s largely men) who make the decisions matters
Media plays a big role in setting default narrative and images of who is an can be an entrepreneur.
I hope you’ll watch and share your feedback on social media using #FacesofFounders!
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