Funds will help launch the Women of Color Connecting Capital Access Accelerator Program aimed at supporting women of color entrepreneurs with friendly, catalytic capital.
NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) today announced it has been awarded $100,000 by the Surdna Foundation to help launch the Women of Color Connecting Capital (WOCCON) Access Accelerator Program. IFEL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to eradicate the systemic barriers that prevent historically excluded populations from being able to access the knowledge, networks, and capital required for entrepreneurial success and wealth creation.
While $330B was spent in VC funding in 2021, only 0.34% went to Black female founders. The WOCCON Capital Access Accelerator program will focus on accelerating the path to capital for women of color entrepreneurs, especially for Black and Latinx women outside of the tech ecosystem.
"The difference between the access to and availability of capital for people in resource-rich communities is striking," said IFEL CEO and Co-Founder Jill Johnson. "We are proud to partner with the Surdna Foundation to work toward redefining how risk is assessed in lending and how founders are evaluated as worthy."
A core tenet of the WOCCON Capital Access Accelerator is that people invest in people who they know, like, and trust and that the vast majority of investors do not know, like, or trust enough women of color—thus the lack of diversity in their pipelines and their portfolios. Accelerator leadership seeks to leverage its network to facilitate relationship building that leads to capital access for more women of color.
"Everyone deserves a fair shot at success in our economy, especially women of color entrepreneurs who face far more roadblocks than their white counterparts," said Patrice R. Green, Interim Director of Inclusive Economies, Surdna Foundation. "We believe that the WOCCON Capital Access Accelerator—and the entrepreneurs it supports—will help level the playing field, spark innovation, and create more wealth and services for communities of color."
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures. For over five generations, Surdna has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity. Learn more at www.surdna.org.
IFEL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that leverages the power of relationship capital to create pathways to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and small business owners. Founded in 2002, IFEL’s mission is to eradicate the systemic barriers that prevent people from historically excluded populations from being able to access the knowledge, networks, and capital required for entrepreneurial success and wealth creation. More at www.weareifel.org.
SOURCE Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership