VEP 2024-02-05T15:48:27-08:00
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Entrepreneurship requires taking a risk to start something new. Not everyone has equal access to the opportunity to take these risks that drive our economy and our society forward.

The Venture Equity Project, a global coalition of nonprofit and academic institutions, supported by the JP Morgan Foundation, aims to remove barriers for entrepreneurs and emerging venture capital fund managers of color.

Launched in 2021, our multi-year initiative builds innovative research, data-driven practice, and public policy to catalyze the flow of capital to entrepreneurs and investors of color. Our coalition includes Penn State University College of Health and Human Development, Carnegie Mellon University, VentureESG, Camelback Ventures, ParentPreneur Foundation, Extend Ventures, Capital Enterprise, IFEL, and Vets in Tech.

Now entering its third year, the Venture Equity Project is on a mission to identify U.S. localities leading the charge in unlocking equity in entrepreneurship and venture capital. By showcasing success stories, we’re creating a playbook for others to follow. Research partners include Heartland Forward and Penn State University College of Health and Human Development. In this work, VEP aims to accelerate the capacity of policymakers, investors, and civic leaders nationally to advance toward inclusion.

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Innovative Research

New research methods incorporating the lived experiences of entrepreneurs of color to prioritize equitable distribution of venture capital.

Data-Driven Practices

Data insights will inform just-in-time decision making across programs and practices to deepen capital support for entrepreneurs of color.

Policy Change

Radical partner collaborations convert research and program learnings into robust policy recommendations to address key barriers.


These research-to-practice partners aim to unlock key insights across the organizations and from industry collaborators to build the first open data system that can power knowledge and access to improving First Mover Capital Investors across the globe.


Venture Equity Report

The Venture Equity Project united a coalition of 10 partners ranging across research, policy, and practice to inform interventions in support of increasing venture capital flow to entrepreneurs of color. This two-year project unlocked new pathways to change and strengthened ecosystem connectivity. To learn more, access the report below.

Policy Analysis

Our colleagues at Penn State University’s Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative analyzed 1.5 million bills introduced by state legislatures, identifying over 21,000 who are considered entrepreneurs and small business owners.

By analyzing the intersection of entrepreneur-related bills and identity (gender and ethnicity), the Evidence-to-Impact team produced a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial policy landscape related to equity. To learn more, access the report below.


Stakeholder Mapping in Venture Equity

Transition Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University

Understanding stakeholder perspectives on the problem of lack of funding for entrepreneurs of color in the US and UK through Transition Design workshops.

Entrepreneur standing and presenting in front of white board


The Venture Equity Project is funded by the JP Morgan Foundation with the goal of making significant strides toward an equitable future in venture for entrepreneurs of color. Comprised of forward-thinking academic, nonprofit, and venture partners, we focus on three key areas: new research to understand the complex problem of inequity in venture; stakeholder-facing practice that both contributes to and is informed by our data collection efforts; and policy recommendations that will remove barriers to change.


The Nasdaq Center collaborated with The ParentPreneur Foundation to issue a series of $1,000 grants to Black parent entrepreneurs. They shared their biggest barriers to accessing capital and here are some of their stories.

Get the latest research updates from the Venture Equity Project

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