Editor’s note: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a financial supporter of Startland News.
A $100 million fund is expected to help close the wealth gap and better fund BIPOC-led ventures — thanks in part to Kansas City’s own Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Joining forces with Living Cities, the Kauffman Foundation has committed $10 million to anchor the organization’s Catalyst III fund — a $100 million investment pool that looks to confront and address underinvestment in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities.
“Entrepreneurship is fundamentally different for those who have access to capital,” said Philip Gaskin, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.
“To increase capital access for Black and brown entrepreneurs, we need to ensure that capital decision-makers are knowledgeable about the history and root causes of the country’s racial wealth gaps. We must explore new ways of investing in fund managers of color.”
Click here to read a message from Wendy Guillies, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, on why the time for hope and fundamental action has arrived.
The Kauffman commitment follows a previous $1.67 million seed grant to Living Cities, which aimed to more closely examine such issues.
“Catalyst Fund III draws on Living Cities’ more than 13 years of impact investing activity in financial intermediaries in both debt and equity capacities,” said Demetric Duckett, managing director at Living Cities.
“Our approach applies proven strategies working with capital managers focused on BIPOC needs, and we have the investing know-how and operational support to effectively deploy capital to generate strong returns for investors while achieving substantial impact with BIPOC communities.”
The fund is expected to provide emerging fund managers of color with access to seed capital and technical support, reduce the time it takes for fund managers of color to raise initial capital, and enable emerging fund managers of color to establish a track record and credibility, and better position themselves for future fundraising, the organization’s said.