The widest category of today’s business community does not fit the sensationalized Silicon Valley model of zero to exponential value in a short timeline. It’s a model that, while viable for some, has created an unintended gap in access to capital for the majority. Furthermore, traditional lending has proven exclusionary to many start-ups for a variety of reasons. Investors and entrepreneurs alike are requiring new and more diverse approaches to financing.
Our goal throughout this paper is to explore the ways in which innovation can create new means for entrepreneurs to access capital, as opposed to merely being a product of entrepreneurial activities. By examining the evolution of entrepreneurship and its associated infrastructures, we can reach a better understanding of what challenges exist. Further, we can uncover ways in which alternative funding approaches mitigate those challenges. Finally, our discussion of existing infrastructures points us to areas where innovation into new, exciting approaches to funding are possible.
To us, building a more inclusive economy means working to ensure the economy functions for all people
To us, building a more inclusive economy means working to ensure the economy functions for all people, and that all people have the financial mobility to pursue their visions, goals, and dreams— not just for themselves, but also for their communities. We believe true inclusion involves seeing all people, of diverse identities and backgrounds, as valuable and offering unique contributions to our communities and economies.
Our work spans the diverse and vibrant needs of the communities in which we are rooted, with particular emphasis on creating equitable, innovative access to resources ranging from capital to networks to physical spaces. Access Ventures’ investments are centered around the belief that the economy represents not just an engine for industry, but an opportunity to demonstrate the inalienable dignity of all people. We envision an economic environment guided not by narrow-minded self-interest, but by the pursuit of equitably distributed growth opportunities—opportunities that provide upward mobility to every citizen. We believe that by prioritizing relationships over isolation, and by offering a seat at the table to the underserved and underrepresented, we build the community we all desire to live in.