A new report from Arabella Advisors, New Venture Fund, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. examines how philanthropists and investors can support entrepreneurs who have historically faced systemic biases that restricted their access to capital. An Economy For All: How Philanthropy Can Unlock Capital for Women Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurs of Color through Inclusive Investing finds that “inclusive investing” practices are key to creating this accessibility.
“Inclusive investing” practices are those that help ensure capital reaches the most promising startups and businesses regardless of the race, gender, or circumstances of their founders and owners. While standalone programs that support entrepreneurs who are women or people of color exist, they are not sufficient to advance systemic change within the capital markets or to correct for its biases. To systemically address this problem, individual and institutional investors must change how they make their investment decisions, such as increasing the diversity of who makes investment decisions in the context of an investor class that is predominantly white, male and elite-educated.
Notably, the challenges that currently restrict access to capital markets preventing too many entrepreneurs from participating in a growing economy, but they also create inefficiencies in the allocation of capital and undermine potential investment returns. Increasing access to capital for historically underserved groups, therefore, does not solely benefit individual entrepreneurs, but also provides broader opportunity to drive economic growth, build wealth, and create jobs.
“This report points to a critical market failure,” said Shelley Whelpton, Senior Managing Director at Arabella Advisors. “Investors are missing out on huge opportunities in the very places where communities could most use their capital. Philanthropy can step up, and step in, to help close that gap.”
“With entrepreneurs of color receiving a fraction of the $130 billion invested annually by venture capital, diverse owned small businesses are being denied the opportunity to become high-growth firms and create catalytic wealth. Under JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business Forward initiative, a $150 million commitment connecting underserved small business with capital, targeted assistance and support networks to help them grow faster and strengthen local economies, we’re supporting intentional efforts that unlock venture capital and high-growth capital,” says Ted Archer, Head of Small Business Forward at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase supported the research report as part of a larger partnership with Arabella and the New Venture Fund that includes a $1MM commitment to alternative financing geared toward women of color entrepreneurs.
Key takeaways from An Economy For All include:
- Women and entrepreneurs of color are systemically blocked from accessing and absorbing investment capital, due to reasons including the lack of diversity in the investor community, investors’ lack of networks among women and communities of color, and current practices among venture capitalists that have the effect of leaving people out.
- Intermediaries can connect entrepreneurs to capital, but they often lack scale or a commitment to inclusive investing.
- Philanthropists and different types of donors can take action to create better investment conditions for underrepresented entrepreneurs, outlined extensively in the study.
About Arabella Advisors
Arabella Advisors helps foundations, philanthropists, and investors who are serious about impact create meaningful change. We help our clients imagine what’s possible, design the best strategies, learn what works best, and do the work necessary to turn their visions into reality. To learn more, visit www.arabellaadvisors.com.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
About New Venture Fund
The New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) established in 2006, conducts public interest projects and provides professional insight and support to institutions and individuals seeking to foster change through strategic philanthropy. To learn more, visit www.newventurefund.org.