Black and Latina Women Startups & Tech

digitalundivided in Action:
Case Foundation

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The Case Foundation, created by digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case, is driven by its mission to “invest in people and ideas that can change the world.” At the core of the Case Foundation’s work within the Inclusive Entrepreneurship movement is the belief that there is a powerful economic opportunity to seize by providing the resources, networking and support that entrepreneurs from all races, places and genders need to succeed.

The Case Foundation looks to partnerships and programs that aim to reduce common barriers to entrepreneurship faced by diverse entrepreneurs and scale local pilots into national programs serving women and entrepreneurs of color. That is why they supported digitalundivided in 2017.

Sarah Koch, VP of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, noted “ProjectDiane 2016 had a real impact as we, at the Case Foundation, saw a signifcant change in people’s perceptions of entrepreneurship in communities of color. ProjectDiane put real numbers behind what people felt was happening but could not quantify and ensured these stark inequalities could not be overlooked by those who were in denial about what was happening.”

The Case Foundation incorporated data from ProjectDiane 2016 into their work, anchored by specifc efforts designed to show investors that there is a strong pipeline of diverse entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds.

A partner and thought-leader

ProjectDiane’s data and insights have informed much of the Case Foundation’s Inclusive Entrepreneurship work.

The Case Foundation’s Inclusive Entrepreneurship movement seeks to accelerate more inclusive and broad growth by bringing a more diverse set of innovators and founders – particularly women and people of color – to the table to drive high-growth potentially impactful startups. The ProjectDiane data is integral to changing cultural perceptions of entrepreneurship, simultaneously providing important role models for aspiring entrepreneurs and showing investors and other stakeholders the stark inequity that exists for diverse entrepreneurs. The Foundation, working with DID, believes there is a powerful opportunity to elevate stories of female founders and entrepreneurs of color amongst investors and journalists. 

 
 

digitalundivided in Action:
JPMorgan Chase

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JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business Forward program has committed to investing $150 million over five years to support women, minority, and veteran-owned small businesses. With small businesses growing fastest among people of color, particularly women of color, the program focuses on helping these businesses get started and shepherding their subsequent growth. It is through this program that JPMorgan Chase (JPMorgan Chase) partnered with digitalundivided.

The Challenge

The first year of the Small Business Forward initiative demonstrated solid results in terms of how small businesses supported by the program were generating revenue, hiring people, and acquiring patents, at a faster rate than industry average. JPMorgan Chase also noted though that the programs didn’t always include a diverse set of founders. Ted Archer, Head of Small Business Forward, Global Philanthropy, said, “While tremendous gains were being made, those gains did not translate enough to the inclusion of founders of color, women, or the communities that surrounded those companies.” JPMorgan Chase decided then that, as a global company specializing in improving the flow and delivery of capital, there was more that could be done to open doors to underrepresented founders and help ensure inclusive economic growth for more communities with greater access to flexible capital, targeted technical assistance, and access to important networks.

Partnering with digitalundivided

In 2016, JPMorgan Chase learned about digitalundivided (DID) and its research initiative, ProjectDiane, and were interested in DID’s data-driven approach, connections to investors, and the fact that its programming was designed for women of color by women of color. ProjectDiane in particular highlighted the fact that capital is not flowing to women of color founders, which struck a chord with JPMorgan Chase. “With their data-driven approach DID is uniquely positioned to shed light on the fact that capital is not flowing where it should and also to scale up women of color founders in a way that helps them navigate the maze of particular challenges that exist for them in the startup space,” Archer expressed. “We are proud to be a partner in this important work and raise awareness to drive greater investment in this arena.”