How to create an even playing field
Without any action, it will be virtually impossible to close the gap. The accelerated plan is only attainable if we act now. Our research suggests that three targeted actions can help achieve parity:
Support Black founders in pre-series stages
This means increasing visibility, equality and awareness of Black founders. There is a need to elevate the Black founder pipeline and increase diversity amongst venture capital decision makers. Creating targeted investments will also encourage companies to direct investments to Black founders in areas they care about.
Support Black founders throughout funding stages (A through D+)
Our research shows only 5 Black founders have progressed to Series D+ from 2016 to 2020. A targeted strategy can equalize funding at each stage, enhance business capacity of Black founders, provide education, network opportunities and mentoring, and expand the source of capital.
Engage corporate venture capital decision makers
A truly diverse venture capital ecosystem can yield financial gain for Black founders and benefits, and spillover benefits to society. Engaging startups is critical to driving innovation, and venture capital decision makers must commit to diversifying to co-create and drive value for customers and clients.
Investing in a diverse future
SwayBrand is a Los Angeles-based multicultural media technology platform that helps brands connect with a wide range of influencers to develop content that resonates with a diverse audience.
To date, over 3,000 influencers have worked with SwayBrand, helping the company create authentic connections between businesses and their target audiences.
“Despite America's increasing diversity, most brands are playing catch-up when it comes to creating relevant content that reflects this growth. Through our work with multicultural creators, we’re able to get brands up to speed by leveraging cultural intelligence that fosters more authentic and equitable connections between companies and their target audiences,” says Horace Flournoy, co-founder and CEO of SwayBrand.
Accenture is investing in SwayBrand through our Black Founders Development Program. The program gives SwayBrand access to Accenture’s global innovation network, enabling it to co-create at our Innovation Hubs, Labs and Liquid Studios, working with subject matter experts to connect with the enterprise market.
Read the news release: Accenture Invests in Multicultural Media Technology Platform SwayBrand Through Accenture Ventures’ Black Founders Development Program