Invest in Justice! Impact Ventures Fellowship Program
For decades, the United States has been experiencing an alarming decline in the number of new business startups. Three-quarters of all venture capital monies go to Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. In 2018, less than 2% of companies founded by people of color received venture capital funding, while women received a mere 2.2% of funding and women of color received less than 1%. While we can be rightfully proud of the large transformative startups that are rapidly changing our world, they are by no means the answer to the documented decline of the American middle class, or the increasing racial wealth divide in our country.
We believe it is critical to level the playing field so that most Americans, especially women and people of color, no longer continue to face systemic barriers to start and grow new businesses. In the last 3 months, 41% of Black-owned businesses permanently closed their doors due to COVID-19 / Shelter in please orders. 32% of Latinx businesses have permanently closed their doors, and closely trailing 25% of women-owned business have shut down forever. This is a product of systemic injustice and we are here to change this.
The time is now. While our economies suffer from the impact of a global health pandemic, our communities for centuries have suffered from the impact of institutional racism. Demands for racial equity, social, and economic justice calls for us to imagine a new economy. One that is void of systemic oppression, hate, bias, and discrimination. We imagine a new economy that works for all.
Impact Ventures plans to launch its Fall 2020 Fellowship Program with a focus on racial equity and growing local economies. This program creates pathways to building wealth by providing technical assistance, mentorship, community, and access to capital for minority-owned startups and small businesses. Join us on our mission to accelerate and invest in all shades of genius by eliminating the social and economic barriers for underestimated women and entrepreneurs of color to thrive. Your actions today is a commitment to investing in justice, for we envision a more diverse, equitable and inclusive economy where access, opportunity, and prosperity is shared.