I want to share my thoughts on a recent event that has left many of us in the female venture space feeling demoralized and frustrated: the lawsuit against the Fearless Fund.
For those unfamiliar, Fearless Fund is a venture capital fund founded by Arian Simone, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Ayanna Parsons with the aim of addressing the significant funding gap that exists for minority women entrepreneurs in the venture capital landscape.
Recently, they were served with a lawsuit claiming that by exclusively investing in women of color, they are discriminating against white people and men.
This claim is not only disheartening but also absurd considering that women receive only about 2% of all venture capital funding, and women of color receive an even smaller fraction – just half a percent of that 2%.
This lawsuit is a part of a larger attack on diversity, inclusion, and affirmative action initiatives, led by individuals like Edward Blum, who successfully challenged affirmative action efforts for colleges in the US Supreme Court. Now, they are targeting funds that support women of color, and it’s a tragedy.
Why We Must Fight Back
We must stand up and fight against this injustice because the work being done by the Fearless Fund, and other female founders supporting underfunded, under-resourced, and under-recognized entrepreneurs, is crucial to changing the venture capital landscape.
We know that where capital flows, power follows. By creating a more diverse and inclusive world, we can build a better future for everyone. Diversity brings a wide range of perspectives to the decision-making process. Different viewpoints challenge conventional thinking and enable the exploration of new ideas and opportunities.
Women and people of color have historically been overlooked in investment decisions, despite having innovative ideas and strong business potential. Inclusive venture funds recognize this untapped potential and provide the necessary funding and mentorship to help these entrepreneurs succeed, leading to new job creation, economic growth, and innovation.
We need to change the world, and to do that, we must change who is sitting at the table, building the world.
What You Can Do
Right now, there is an opportunity to make a difference. The lawsuit against the Fearless Fund has not yet reached the Supreme Court, so we can still voice our support for diversity and inclusion, and make it known that funding underrepresented, and diverse founders is critical work. If this lawsuit succeeds in making it illegal to exclusively fund minority founders, our world will be a poorer place for it.
Here are some ways you can support the Fearless Fund:
- Sign the Petition: There is a petition to support the Fearless Fund. Show your support by signing it.
- Donate: Funding is needed to support their legal defense. You can donate at www.fearlessfund.org.
- Spread the Word: Share information about this situation on your social media platforms, and encourage others to support the Fearless Fund.
Diversity in venture capital is not only a matter of social responsibility but also a strategic advantage. Embracing diversity leads to more innovative, ethical, and successful investment decisions, ultimately contributing to the growth of both individual companies and the venture capital ecosystem as a whole. Let’s intentionally choose to light the way forward.