Dallas, TX: Impact Ventures recently became the recipient of a catalytic multi-year investment totaling $450,000 from Communities Foundation of Texas through their W.W Caruth, Jr. Fund. This investment will allow Impact Ventures to scale its flagship accelerator program supporting women and entrepreneurs of color. The program has already supported 64 entrepreneurs to help raise $1.5M in investments, create 49 jobs, and has offered over 1,300 hours of business training and mentorship from experts form across the US. This catalytic investment will also provide support for Impact Ventures to launch its new Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund (DICF), the first of its kind, an integrated capital fund focused on racial and gender equity to close the wealth gap. The DICF will provide flexible loans and patient equity investments for under-capitalized minority entrepreneurs through character and trust based underwriting practices that challenge traditional financing tools that rely too heavily on credit worthiness and collateral — structural barriers that often exclude communities of color from growing and scaling their enterprise.
“Communities Foundation is thrilled to support the expansion of this critical, innovative work to increase access, opportunity, and prosperity for local women and entrepreneurs of color over the next three years,” said Sarah Cotton Nelson, chief philanthropy officer at Communities Foundation of Texas.
The investment also comes after the announcement of Impact Ventures’ receiving the 2020 Pegasus Prize, given by The Dallas Foundation to innovative new approaches to solving complex problems. The recent pandemic shined an already bright light on the inequities that existed for minorities seeking to create wealth through entrepreneurship. Many businesses were not able to get access to government funding, had little to no relationships with their local banker, and had very little runway to help survive in times where sales may dwindle. A recent study reported over 40% of Black owned businesses permanently closed their doors during the height of the pandemic. Closures numbers across North Texas have not be calculated precisely just yet, but many businesses across the region have felt the hit of the pandemic and readily seek resources to survive.
This investment will create new opportunities to align capital with impact by removing some of the structural barriers that have excluded many communities for decades. Through Impact Venture Accelerator programs, participants gain access to expert mentorship and coaching, training and education, and access to high-level networks and capital through Impact Ventures’ Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund, lending partners, and investor network from across the US.
“In Dallas County alone, there is a $47.5M unmet demand for loan capital for Women and Minorities and as of 2019 less than 2% of venture capital (equity) landed in Black and LatinX communities. In order to truly level the playing field and close the wealth gap, we must work to remove the structural and systemic barriers that rid communities of color from a lifetime of poverty (both income and asset). We are honored to receive this investment and partner with Communities Foundation of Texas to help close the wealth divide in our city and our region.” Benjamin J. Vann, Founder & CEO Impact Ventures.
To learn more about Impact Ventures, visit https://impact-ventures.co for more information.
About Communities Foundation of Texas
With the goal of building thriving communities for all, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works locally and across the state with many individuals, families, companies, and nonprofits through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking initiatives. In 1974, W.W. Caruth, Jr. established his fund as part of Communities Foundation of Texas with philanthropic goals to support frontier-advancing projects in education, scientific research, medical advancement, and public safety. In addition to managing the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at CFT, CFT professionally manages more than 1,000 charitable funds and has awarded more than $2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953. CFT is committed to serving and understanding donor needs, expertly handling complex gifts, wisely managing charitable funds, and leveraging its community knowledge to increase charitable impact, in addition to powering several key initiatives including CFT for Business, Educate Texas at CFT, Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy at CFT, GiveWisely, and CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. CFT’s North Texas Giving Day raised over $58 million on a single day last year to help over 3,200 North Texas nonprofits. Learn more at www.CFTexas.org.
About Impact Ventures and the Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund
Impact Ventures is a 501(c)(3) organization on a mission to eliminate the social and economic barriers for talented, yet under-estimated women and BIPOC communities to build generational wealth through inclusive entrepreneurship and integrated capital. The Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund is a place-based integrated capital fund investing flexible debt and patient equity in women and BIPOC-led enterprises to build economic power and create community wealth. For more information, visit www.impact-ventures.co.