Why start the Voodle Visionaries Grant?
The “future of work” is something that we talk a lot about at Voodle – we believe it will be more distributed, inclusive, transparent, and productive. In some ways, the future is here! The pandemic accelerated trends towards more flexible, asynchronous work and gave us all permission to be more authentic. Growth – for some – continues, with startup funding topping $147 billion.
However, in many ways, we are still waiting for the benefits to be realized. Particularly when it comes to inclusivity. A lot of us are talking about inclusion and belonging, and at Voodle we’re building a product that genuinely equips everyone to be seen and heard. But here is the reality: this is so much bigger than any one organization or any one product. If we want to see concrete change, we have to build a startup funding ecosystem that will generate a better future of work for everyone.
We can’t promote the Future of Work without supporting those who are shaping it.
This brings me to our latest initiative – the Voodle Visionaries Grant. This is our chance to use our app at its best and put our money where our mouth is when it comes to our values. Our grant is targeting women, non-binary, and BIPOC founders who are as committed to building a better future of work as we are.
Our goal is to inspire and be a part of the wave of solutions that enable the new world of work, and ensure diverse voices have a platform to be heard. One of my favorite quotes about entrepreneurship just about sums up why a diverse presence is so important:
“We will never be solving the problems that we need to solve, unless the set of entrepreneurs is more diverse.”-Jennifer Hyman, co-founder of Rent the Runway
A few eye-opening startup funding facts for you:
- Female entrepreneurs own 38% of all businesses in the US, but that is not reflected in the proportion of startup funding that currently goes to female founders. Women-led start-ups receive just 2.3% of VC funding and it is estimated that black women receive less than 1%.
- BIPOC receives less business financing, less often and at higher rates. 80.2% of white business owners receive at least a percentage of the funding they request from a bank. Compare that to 66.4% of BIPOC business owners.
- In the first half of 2021, startups overall raised a record-breaking $147 billion. Only 1.2 percent of it went to Black founders. In 2020, Black founders received 0.6 percent of all venture capital deployed.
Women, Non-Binary and BIPOC business leaders have always been there advocating for a better future of work. They’re the true Visionaries. The ones that bring diversity of thought to leadership. They’re the ones actually moving the needle and disrupting the industry because turning their values into action has always been an integral part of how they work. Our goal is to give these innovators a well-deserved spotlight, and a little bit of cash too!
Respecting entrepreneurs’ time – 60 seconds is all it takes.
The Voodle Visionaries Grant is a straightforward way to invest in and bring attention to founders who are dramatically underrepresented in funding. We wanted an easier ask for these entrepreneurs who work so hard to get the attention of funders and typically don’t get a lot in return.
Having a succinct and compelling “elevator pitch” is incredibly important for founders. And creating and sharing one using asynchronous short video is a phenomenal opportunity for feedback and growth, at scale. This program is a chance for startups to briefly share their core message and story, while putting the real human behind the idea front and center.
Women, Non-binary, BIPOC Founders Apply Now for Startup Funding!
We want to keep people at the heart of the discussion about the future of work. That starts with founders and who’s getting funded. Join us! Help us see and share what brilliant startups and products will shape the future. Get the word out to women, non-binary, and BIPOC founders in your life and broader networks. To learn more about the Voodle Visionaries Grant, click here.