The topic of diversity continues to be top of mind for us at Bowery. Firm-wide, we’ve tried to keep ourselves honest by being transparent about the gender composition of our team, advisors, and major event speakers. But diversity is so much more than gender. If there’s anything that this year has brought to light, it’s that everyone needs to be doing more if we’re ever going to see change. We’re big believers in the power of storytelling and are excited to launch a new blog series: “Diversity in Entrepreneurship”.
“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organization.”
Many high growth companies are taking the initiative to better acknowledge inequality of opportunity based on race, gender, and other backgrounds. However, some of the statistics within the entrepreneurship community are still staggering. Women-owned businesses received a mere 2.7% of venture capital invested in startup businesses during 2019. Black-owned businesses received 2.2% of venture capital investments in Q3 2020. Studies show that entrepreneurs who identify as LGBTQ+ face distinct disadvantages when scaling their companies and raising capital. People of color report having less opportunity to access capital, mentorship, and entrepreneurial support groups. The list goes on.
Despite these relevant issues, we are making some progress. The amount of black women-owned business grew 50% from 2014-2019, representing the largest amount t of growth among all other backgrounds. 29% of all businesses are now minority-owned, increasing at twice the rate of growth compared to non-minority-owned businesses. Startout, Out in Tech, and other organizations are creating networks of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and encouraging the diversity of founder portfolios. Although we are making steps in the right direction, we are far from evening the playing field; VC took steps backward in terms of founder diversity in 2020. Again, we still have a lot of work to do so we can understand, promote, and support these underrepresented communities.
Our new blog series will be focused on sharing the stories of several Founder/CEOs within our portfolio. Each post will spotlight a different founder, some of which identify with underrepresented groups or backgrounds. This series will give them a platform to describe the impact of diversity on their careers. This includes their relationship to diversity, related challenges, and strategies they have used to combat these hardships. We’ll also dive into the role of diversity in their companies and careers.
This blog series is just one initiative we are taking to better educate ourselves on diversity-related challenges and under-representation among high growth startups. We strongly believe in the power of representation and hope that through storytelling we can help encourage and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders in tech.
If you liked “Diversity in Entrepreneurship” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog. Look out for more content on Diversity in Entrepreneurship from us in the coming weeks.