Funding Favors the Fortunate

Funding Favors the Fortunate: Leveling the Playing Field for Diverse Founders


The playing field for startup founders is far from level. Research clearly shows that women, minorities, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds face significant barriers in accessing venture capital and loan funding. Systemic disadvantages have real consequences for entrepreneurs and our economy.

A striking 2014 CBInsights study found that less than 1% of venture capital-backed startup founders were Black. With white men dominating Silicon Valley networks, many diverse groups lack connections and exposure to capital sources. This funding disparity limits opportunities for innovators outside the dominant demographic.

According to a 2020 National Community Reinvestment Coalition study, if Black business owners experienced fair and equal access to financing, their numbers would be over three times higher than today. Yet biases, both conscious and unconscious, persist within investor communities. For example, Black entrepreneurs are three times as likely to have small business loan applications rejected compared to their white counterparts. A lack of multi-generational wealth transfers among non-white families further exacerbates obstacles.

While expanding microfinance programs and impact investing in underrepresented founders are positive steps, deeper systemic changes are needed across sectors. We need to establish a new model that fills the valley currently left by existing Venture capital and must prioritize diverse recruiting to dismantle homogeneous networks and the inherent biases they breed. Lending institutions should conduct equity audits of approval rates to surface any disproportionate rejections of marginalized groups.

Governments and large philanthropic institutions must support new, innovative approaches and organizations aiming to fill gaps in seed-stage funding and resources for innovators of color and women. Targeted initiatives could include accessible accelerators and mentorship programs designed to help these founders overcome barriers.

As recent data illustrates, systematic disadvantages persist. The Federal Reserve’s latest Small Business Credit Survey found majority-female owned and minority-owned businesses experienced disproportionately higher rejection rates for financing. A 2018 study in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice also revealed investors are less likely to fund companies led by Black entrepreneurs compared to white entrepreneurs with identical business models, highlighting evidence of racial biases.

As a society, we must acknowledge how existing power structures have systematically advantaged some groups while hindering others. Only by openly recognizing these longstanding funding disparities, as validated through studies, can we begin to build a more equitable and inclusive culture of entrepreneurship. With open-minded support from all sectors, visionary ideas from founders of all backgrounds can fully come to fruition, fueling inclusive economic growth and societal progress. Our shared future prosperity depends on empowering underrepresented innovators and unleashing the untapped creative potential within every community.



FREYJA Group Empowered Women

Empower Her, Transform Tomorrow

We all have a role to play in creating a more just and equitable society. But research shows that empowering women and girls holds unique potential to catalyze progress.

Estimates suggest that achieving gender equality could add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025. The World Bank highlights that investments in women spur lasting benefits – reducing poverty and inequality while driving development. For example, women’s education is linked to lower child malnutrition and mortality.

Yet obstacles remain at alarming levels globally.

Over 2.5 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men. At least 1 in 3 women worldwide experience gender-based violence in their lifetime. The average gender pay gap hovers around 20% across 40 countries studied by the OECD.

Empower Her and Watch Societies Flourish: The Data-Backed Case

The evidence is clear – advancing women’s empowerment accelerates social progress and unlocks vast economic potential. But this requires dismantling barriers across public and private spheres:

Empowering women and girls through education, economic opportunities, health care access, political participation, and leadership capacity transforms communities for the better. Purposeful investment directed at women not only uplifts individuals, but compounds to benefit societies and economies overall.

Shaping a Brighter Future:

True change requires re-imagining systems holistically. The collective future we shape by empowering her – at home, in schools, through policies, within firms – will either propel or hinder progress for generations to come. The research provides hope: women’s empowerment sparks a better world for all.

Will you join us in transforming tomorrow?

The journey starts NOW.

Contact Us

Transform mindsets. Challenge assumptions. Disrupt the status quo. Make ripples with us.

30 N Gould St Ste R
Sheridan, WY 82801

Main Office +1 (917) 200 – 0128




Be the change.

Join our collective of innovators and change makers – together we’ll transform systems.