Entrepreneurs Equity Fund

Forging a more inclusive economy by investing in high-growth, diverse businesses

Despite the potential for diverse businesses to be powerful economic catalysts for historically underserved communities, many face persistent, structural inequities and barriers that prevent them from growing their businesses, including lack of access to capital, mentorship, training, expertise, networks and markets.

Access to capital has long been the primary impediment to the growth of diverse businesses, particularly access to competitively priced capital. To that end, the Entrepreneurs Equity Fund will work to accelerate the growth of emerging, high-potential, diverse-owned businesses by making direct equity investments and increasing access to non-predatory sources of capital, including revenue-based financing and low-cost working capital.

The majority of the Fund’s initial allocation of $100 million will be dedicated to direct equity investments and increasing access to non-predatory capital. However, recognizing that all businesses need more than just capital to grow, the Entrepreneurs Equity Fund will also underwrite philanthropic grants designed to improve the operating environment for underrepresented entrepreneurs and diverse-owned businesses by supporting them with training, executive mentoring, data collection, research and policy development.

“America’s future rests on our entrepreneurial fire. But in recent years, the spark within many entrepreneurs has struggled to find the oxygen to burn bright. The causes are many: predatory practices, lack of access to capital and social networks, the need for learning and community, and the systemic failures that lead many to not even try. For too many people today, the American dream feels out of reach. I find this to be unacceptable, which is why we are launching this fund to invest in diverse businesses that have unfairly been excluded from opportunity for too long despite their enormous potential to help rebuild our country.” - Howard Schultz, Schultz Family Foundation co-founder and Starbucks interim CEO.

“Every person, regardless of race or background, deserves an equal opportunity to realize their dreams. Unfortunately, in America the color of your skin and where you grew up are the most reliable predictors of economic success. We believe that investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs and diverse-owned businesses will be an efficient and effective means for forging amore inclusive economy, reducing the wealth and employment gaps, and strengthening our democracy.” -Tyra A. Mariani, president of the Schultz Family Foundation.

“There are a growing number of innovative, growth-oriented, diverse-owned businesses poised to join the middle market. But for too many of them, capital is out of reach because too often capital flows to the best relationships, not the best deals. By supporting these companies, we believe that they will not only outperform in terms of financial returns but lead the way in creating positive social outcomes, jobs, and wealth in historically underserved communities.”  - David Hinson, managing director and head of the Entrepreneurs Equity Fund.

Only 1.6 percent of diverse businesses are middle market companies, these companies account for over 34 percent of employees hired by the entire diverse business sector. Moreover, diverse-owned middle market companies represent 42 percent of all revenue generated by the diverse business community.
Data suggest that strengthening emerging, high-potential businesses led by diverse founders (e.g., businesses that are growing revenue at a 15 percent annual rate) and positioning these businesses to become middle market companies (e.g., generating annual revenue of $10 million to $1 billion) has the potential to be a powerful way to increase economic and social outcomes for historically disadvantaged communities.
According to a September 2020 Citi report, providing fair and equitable lending to Black entrepreneurs alone over the past 20 years would likely have resulted in the creation of an additional $13 trillion in business revenue and potentially created 6.1 million jobs per year.
Only 1.6 percent of diverse businesses are middle market companies, these companies account for over 34 percent of employees hired by the entire diverse business sector. Moreover, diverse-owned middle market companies represent 42 percent of all revenue generated by the diverse business community.
Data suggest that strengthening emerging, high-potential businesses led by diverse founders (e.g., businesses that are growing revenue at a 15 percent annual rate) and positioning these businesses to become middle market companies (e.g., generating annual revenue of $10 million to $1 billion) has the potential to be a powerful way to increase economic and social outcomes for historically disadvantaged communities.
According to a September 2020 Citi report, providing fair and equitable lending to Black entrepreneurs alone over the past 20 years would likely have resulted in the creation of an additional $13 trillion in business revenue and potentially created 6.1 million jobs per year.
Only 1.6 percent of diverse businesses are middle market companies, these companies account for over 34 percent of employees hired by the entire diverse business sector. Moreover, diverse-owned middle market companies represent 42 percent of all revenue generated by the diverse business community.
Data suggest that strengthening emerging, high-potential businesses led by diverse founders (e.g., businesses that are growing revenue at a 15 percent annual rate) and positioning these businesses to become middle market companies (e.g., generating annual revenue of $10 million to $1 billion) has the potential to be a powerful way to increase economic and social outcomes for historically disadvantaged communities.
According to a September 2020 Citi report, providing fair and equitable lending to Black entrepreneurs alone over the past 20 years would likely have resulted in the creation of an additional $13 trillion in business revenue and potentially created 6.1 million jobs per year.

FEATURED INITIATIVES

GRANTEE SPOTLIGHT

Grid110 is an economic and community development non-profit dedicated to creating clearer pathways to success for early-stage entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Their mission is to foster the most thriving, inviting and inclusive community for entrepreneurs by making the entrepreneurial path more equitable, inclusive and accessible. Through their no cost, no equity accelerator programs, Grid110 provides founders with a growing community of fellow entrepreneurs, expert mentorship, and crucial resources. It has supported 215 companies that have raised more than $60 million since its creation in 2015. Ninety-four percent of companies supported by Grid110 are led by women and entrepreneurs of color.

Slauson & Co. is a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm working to democratize access to entrepreneurship by bridging the gap between untapped founders – historically overlooked by the traditional venture ecosystem - and the right capital and resources required to create sustainable equity and economic inclusion. The firm established Off Slauson as its non-profit arm to support entrepreneurs beyond the investments made by the fund. Through Friends & Family, a 12-week accelerator program, Off Slauson provided 20 companies across the country with $20,000 in non-dilutive capital as well as the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in the country.

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INVESTOR SPOTLIGHT

Slauson & Co. is a Los Angeles-based venture capital firm working to democratize access to entrepreneurship by bridging the gap between untapped founders – historically overlooked by the traditional venture ecosystem - and the right capital and resources required to create sustainable equity and economic inclusion. The firm established Off Slauson as its non-profit arm to support entrepreneurs beyond the investments made by the fund. Through Friends & Family, a 12-week accelerator program, Off Slauson provided 20 companies across the country with $20,000 in non-dilutive capital as well as the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors in the country.

Grid110 is an economic and community development non-profit dedicated to creating clearer pathways to success for early-stage entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Their mission is to foster the most thriving, inviting and inclusive community for entrepreneurs by making the entrepreneurial path more equitable, inclusive and accessible. Through their no cost, no equity accelerator programs, Grid110 provides founders with a growing community of fellow entrepreneurs, expert mentorship, and crucial resources. It has supported 215 companies that have raised more than $60 million since its creation in 2015. Ninety-four percent of companies supported by Grid110 are led by women and entrepreneurs of color.

INVESTOR SPOTLIGHT

INVESTOR SPOTLIGHT

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