- Companies with all-male founding teams raise 91% of all venture capital investment in the UK
- The Consortium wants to double the number of female and BAME founders by 2020
- The Consortium includes: Your Startup, Your Story (YSYS), Diversity VC and Tech Nation
New opportunities for under-represented communities
Capital Enterprise has launched a ground-breaking new initiative, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, to provide female entrepreneurs, and those from some of London’s most under-represented communities, with the opportunity to start and scale a high growth tech business.
The project will connect founders with mentors and help them access opportunities in London’s world-class tech entrepreneurship ecosystem. The overall aim is to double the number of female and BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) founders accessing investment by 2020.
$20m of investment and creating 300 tech jobs
In 2017, a Beauhurst report revealed that 91% of all Venture Capital Investment in the UK goes to startups and scale-ups with all-male founding teams. Women and BAME founders including those that live, work and study in the east London boroughs, where London Tech startups cluster, are missing out.
The Capital Enterprise-led partnership will work with over 50 Venture Capital, Business Angel groups and London’s leading Tech accelerators to achieve the initiative’s ambitious targets which include raising $20m of investment and creating 300 tech jobs. The project will help partners better understand why diversity makes sense; what needs to be done to increase their investment in female and BAME led tech startups; and how to make simple changes to help diversify their recruitment and selection processes.
The Capital Enterprise-led consortium includes Your Startup, Your Story (YSYS): a diverse startup community; Diversity VC: the non-profit, founded by volunteers from the tech industry, which is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in VC; and Tech Nation: a government-backed initiative to help accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector across the UK. The consortium will set out to address this lack of diversity in London’s tech startups and the community of investors, accelerators and incubators that support them.
Addressing the barriers to growth
Later this year, the partners will launch a high-profile campaign to showcase inspirational stories from under-represented tech founders to illustrate available opportunities in the UK tech startup ecosystem. We hope to inspire more women and individuals from under-represented communities to consider starting an ambitious tech startup or to seek work and training opportunities in London’s booming tech startup ecosystem. Our goal is to help address one of the top barriers to growth by creating a new pipeline of talent for London’s tech startups.
The lack of diversity costs the tech industry dearly in untapped potential, talent and growth. Even the best performing tech accelerators and investment readiness programmes in London only have around 10% women and 20% BAME founders in their cohorts. Capital Enterprise has long recognised that this needs to change. We are delighted to be partnering with JPMorgan Chase to launch a new Diversity in Tech initiative to address this challenge. This gives us an opportunity to hack into the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem and test an innovative approach which integrates supply, demand and culture change. We believe this will deliver more impact than simply adding new female or BAME-only programmes to the mix. It will drive a step change in connecting local communities with tech entrepreneurship opportunities on their doorstep and diversify the pool of talent going into tech startups. There is a business imperative to encourage greater diversity and inclusion, unlock creativity and fuel growth.
Alison Partridge, Projects and Partnerships Lead at Capital Enterprise
The technology sector is critical to London’s economy, but we must improve the diversity of the entrepreneurs that support it. Fostering diversity can drive technology innovation, creativity and productivity and create inclusive economic growth. Our investment with Capital Enterprise will give minority and female technology founders, especially in East London, a chance to move up the economic ladder as they start and grow their businesses.
Peter Scher Head of Corporate Responsibility at JPMorgan Chase & Co
As part of our mission to promote diversity and inclusion in venture capital and entrepreneurship, Diversity VC is pleased to join this consortium of partners who share the same aim as we do – to understand the reasons why some founders are missing out on the opportunities of entrepreneurship and to ensure that the benefits of entrepreneurship to everyone in the London area. We look forward to working with JPMorgan Chase, Capital Enterprise, YSYS and Tech Nation on this worthwhile and impactful project.
Check Warner, co-founder & CEO of Diversity VC
Although diversity is a key driver of innovation, the diversity within London’s tech ecosystem is not reflective of its population. Your Startup Your Story is a diverse community of founders, developers, creatives and investors on a mission to make a difference. By adopting a community-first approach to this initiative, we will ensure that London’s talented and underrepresented founders can secure access to Financial and Social capital.
Deborah Okenla, Founder and Dayo Akinrinade Partnerships Lead at YSYS, a diverse startup community
There has never been a more important time for Britain to define itself within a bigger picture. Tech Nation’s goal is to position the UK as the global destination for ambitious tech entrepreneurs. But to achieve this goal, we must make sure that the UK tech sector is truly representative. To compete on the global stage and attract the best talent, our tech sector must take up the banner of inclusion and diversity. Tech Nation is proud to be taking part in this important initiative to support women and under-represented groups access pathways to careers and futures in tech. We are looking forward to working with our partners to make sure that the UK tech sector creates opportunities for everyone – regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or disability.
MB Christie, COO of Tech Nation
In addition to this investment, JPMorgan Chase is supporting underserved entrepreneurs, including minorities and women across the globe. In the last year, JPMorgan Chase tripled Detroit’s Entrepreneurs of Color Fund from $6.5 million to nearly $18 million, expanded the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to the South Bronx and San Francisco, and invested $1 million in female tech entrepreneurs of color through partnerships with digitalundivided and the iNTENT Venture fund. These programs, all part of JPMorgan Chase’s $150 million Small Business Forward initiative, are creating opportunities for underserved small business owners who don’t otherwise have access to credit, so they can continue to thrive and grow in our global economy.