Today, companies led by women founders of color are the fastest-growing businesses in the United States, yet only 10% of venture-backed companies have a woman CEO and less than 1% have an African American founder. According to a new online campaign, it’s time to change the narrative of how we talk about entrepreneurs in America; it’s time to break down the stereotypes of who can be an entrepreneur and disrupt the outdated myths of what an entrepreneur can look like.
The #FacesofFounders campaign seeks to lift up all entrepreneurs and work to change the perception of who is and can be an entrepreneur. It debuted at the White House’s first-ever South by South Lawn (SXSL) event. The campaign is powered by the Case Foundation, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, and UBS.
Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship
Now the #FacesofFounders campaign is searching for dynamic entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, and particularly entrepreneurs of color and women founders, who are key to driving innovation and job growth in the U.S. The photos and stories showcased in this campaign will shine a spotlight on the millions of diverse entrepreneurs in America and reinforce the importance of an inclusive approach to entrepreneurship. #FacesofFounders kicks off on Monday, Oct. 3, and ends on Nov. 22, 2016. The recipients of the final awards will be announced in the spring of 2017.
“There are a tremendous number of women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color who are unrecognized, unfunded, and under-leveraged. This is not just an equity issue. This is a business and innovation proposition for America,â€ Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, the family foundation she co-founded with Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and chairman of Revolution, said in a statement. “We need to support all of the nation’s entrepreneurs–from all places, all races, all genders–creating and scaling new businesses to create stronger communities, close the opportunity gap and scale creative solutions for our most persistent problems.â€
Changing the Face of Venture-Backed Firms
“Women and people of color are historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship, and we are committed to making sure all entrepreneurs have the access to capital and entrepreneurial networks they need to start and grow their businesses. Supporting these entrepreneurs is crucial to building thriving communities and robust entrepreneurial ecosystems globally.â€ Amy Stursberg, executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation said in a released statement.
“Entrepreneurs are the engine for economic growth and job creation in this country,” added Lori Feinsilver, head of Community Affairs at UBS Americas. #FacesofFounders also “highlights the ongoing need to galvanize resources so that all innovators can realize their full potential.”
You can learn more and submit a photo and/or share your entrepreneurial story, here.