There are many definitions of underserved entrepreneurs and we don’t want to impose our definition on anyone else, however, we want to be clear that when we speak of underserved entrepreneurs we are speaking of a group of entrepreneurs that includes, but is not limited to, Black, Female, Native American India, People of Color, Hispanic and Immigrant entrepreneurs. These people represent roughly 65% of the American population and historically have received less than 6% of the early stage investment capital in America. We seek to put an end to this injustice and to that end we are working on a unique new fund specifically designed to support members of this community.
Our model is disruptive in that we will only invest in companies led by underserved entrepreneurs and we will only invest in companies that embrace stakeholder capitalism and are committed to the pursuit of both Profit and Purpose. To ensure an ongoing focus on social impact will tie the cost of our capital to the entrepreneur to the level of social impact their company produces.
We also believe that this community needs more than just money. They need various types of non-monetary support such as mentorship, training and assistance with new skill development. Accordingly, we intend to offer “Highly Supportive Capital” that includes these services at no cost to our portfolio companies.
Additionally, we will be using two different investment tools, one dilutive and the other non-dilutive. We even have the option of deploying both types of capital in our portfolio companies when and where applicable.
Finally, our fund will be open-ended meaning that we can remain invested in our portfolio companies for an indefinite period of time, thus eliminating the short-term liquidity pressures that are typically applied by closed-end investment funds that need to achieve liquidity during the limited life of their fund.
We propose a panel session to discuss this approach as well as other approaches to addressing the injustice associated with how early-stage capital in allocated in America. Member of our organization have a network of thought leaders on this topic and can arrange a diverse and engaging set of panelists.