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This week there’s been a lot of chatter about data from Pitchbook’s new report on women founders and VC deal flow. A key takeaway: there’s reason for optimism.

In 2020, venture dollars invested in women-founded companies dropped 3% — despite overall deal value increasing 16%. In the first three quarters of 2021 alone, women raised $40.4 billion across 2,661 deals, eclipsing a previous record of $23.7 billion in 2019.

One probable reason for this uptick? As of September, women accounted for 15.4% of VC general partners — an increase of 3% from 2019. While the rise of women checkwriters is modest, research suggests that women founders often seek out women VCs and vice versa. As a result, the increase may have a ripple effect and more quickly help right the current funding discrepancy.

María Josefina Cruz Blancas y García just graduated with her degree in Business Administration at the age of 93! Another inspiring example that fearless changemakers can achieve their Big Bets at any age.
Putting Disabilities at the Center of Impact Investing
About 80% of the 85 employees at Rising Tide Car Wash in southern Florida have autism. Co-founder Tom D’Eri credits the business’s success and growth with the funding and guidance they received from the Disability Opportunity Fund (DOF), a CDFI that lends money and provides equity investments to organizations and individuals nationwide that serve people with disabilities.
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Q&A with Kiva CEO Chris Tsakalakis
Kiva CEO Chris Tsakalakis shares insights and answers a variety of questions including why he believes in impact investing, whether there are signs of economic recovery for small businesses, and why people keep lending on Kiva.
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REI Co-Op to Invest in Founders of Color in Outdoors Industry
Working to break down funding discrepancies for entrepreneurs of color, outerwear retailer REI Co-op plans to invest $30 million in 300 diverse founders to help them start and scale their businesses in the outdoors industry.
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Black Representation on Fortune 500 Boards Increased
In 2020, there was a large rise in new Black directors at Fortune 500 companies (10% in 2019 to 28% in 2020). However, other underrepresented groups saw little or no progress. This data brings into question if boards are really focusing on the long term value-add of many types of diversity.
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National American Indian Heritage Month
Celebrate the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans by joining virtual exhibitions, gallery talks, webinars and more hosted by top-notch organizations, including the Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and Smithsonian Institution, among others. The photo above is of Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. You can learn more about her signature project this year, “Living Nations, Living Words,” which gathers works by contemporary Native poets from across the US.
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Bad Weather Causes Train Delays to Glasgow
Climate change joined the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) as an uninvited guest when extreme weather temporarily suspended rail travel from London to Glasgow before the summit’s kickoff. Follow our CEO Jean Case for COP26 key takeaways and why they matter.
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