A North Carolina-based venture capital firm is allocating 100% of its investment to women and Black and brown-owned businesses.

The fund, Equilibrium Impact Ventures, will be investing in entrepreneurs looking to support startups focused on health care accessibility, food security, economic mobility, and other social issues. 

Kasem Rodriguez Mohsen, a founding partner at the firm, says the agency has seen the need for more diversity in business leadership, and the goal is to put its money where its mouth is. 

"So starting in 2017, we saw that Black entrepreneurs, specifically, were getting 1% [of venture funding]. And every year thereafter, it really hasn't budged," he says. "And the numbers for 2022 just came out. And it's 1%. It’s not changing. And there are lots of reasons for that. And I believe it starts with creating more investors of color, who can make those decisions."

The fund had a jumpstart thanks to a $250,000 investment from The Winston-Salem Foundation. Partners say they aim to invest in five companies this year. 

This story was produced by a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. 

Eileen Rodriguez is a reporter for both WFDD and La Noticia through Report for America, where she covers COVID-19's impact in the Latino Communities.

Periodista de La Noticia y 88.5 WFDD, Eileen Rodríguez reporta el impacto de COVID-19 en la comunidad Latina en Carolina del Norte. Rodríguez es miembro del cuerpo de periodistas de Report for America 2021-2022

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