Last year, venture capitalists invested more than $428 million in U.S. startups every day. And how much do you think went to companies led by women entrepreneurs? For every dollar invested, women founders got just three cents. And if you were a woman of color founder, it’s not even one cent.
What would the world look like if we invested in women- and women-of-color led companies at the same rate we invest in our male counterparts? That vision is one that my guests today have championed for years. Barbara Clarke is Founder and President of The Impact Seat, and Cheryl Contee is their Chief Innovation Officer. They invest in early-stage startups with diverse teams, and their whole philosophy reflects an understanding that investing in women and women of color-led companies is not just for the sake of diversity - but if you actually want to make more money - then this is the way to go:
“All of the studies show that diverse led firms are more innovative. They are more productive and they are more profitable. So if all that you care about is money, If you want ROI, you need DEI: diversity equity and inclusion. And you need that to show up in your portfolio to get the best returns and ideally build a better world.”
-Cheryl Contee, Chief Innovation Officer, Impact Seat