Investment in venture capital and private equity (vc/pe) sectors is singularly the most fluid path to the creation and growth of generational wealth in the United States. Last year, buyout volume in private equity alone exceeded $380 billion. (Source: Harvard Law School’s 2018 Private Equity Year in Review).
Yet, many Americans, with higher proportions among African Americans, have very little, if any, idea what venture capital and private equity firms actually do and the wealth-building potential these investment opportunities hold. Historically, most African Americans have not had access to the level of wealth which would allow us to invest in vc/pe opportunities. And certainly, with the exception of a handful of minority-owned firms, most African Americans have not had access to wealthy individuals and institutional contacts necessary to start their own venture capital or private equity fund.
And while we know there are certain government regulations which disproportionally restrict people of color from participating in vc/pe sectors, for example, the requirement that investors be “accredited investors”, the law must change, giving more people access to vc/pe markets, without sacrificing investor protection. More access equals more dollars—for both investors and vc/pe firms.
With a focus of providing aspiring entrepreneurs in urban communities exposure to venture capital and private equity markets, Zhemian Ventures is launching the Equal Access and Opportunity Initiative. This initiative is designed to promote entrepreneurialism through education and mentorship, to assist businesses serving urban communities in securing financing (including the roles of venture capital and private equity funds can play), and to lobby for effective change in laws which unfairly and disproportionately restrict access to venture capital and private equity markets.
What uplifts one of us uplifts all of us.
If you are interested in being a part of this initiative or simply want more information, please contact Martin A. Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Image Credit: Amanda D. Sheldon’s Black Wealth Matters)