You may agree with the notion that entrepreneurship is a great focus for the youth who participate in World Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (WAIE) but may ask “Why does diversity matter in entrepreneurship?” That is a complicated yet not complicated question. However, to unpack that we must first look at what entrepreneurship does for a household and future generations along with the lack of access specific groups have to entrepreneurial opportunities.
Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated, and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. […] If successful, their innovations may improve standards of living, and in addition to creating wealth with entrepreneurial ventures, they also create jobs and contribute to a growing economy.Shobhit Seth, Investopedia
Yes, it is true, everyone does not need to be an entrepreneur. However, the skill sets of an entrepreneur are needed for people who want to have increased growth in their careers. Think about an artist who creates art and then someone decides they want to purchase it. That’s a freelance artist or an entrepreneur. Consider a nurse who decides they want to travel and participate in traveling nursing, she or he has to have the mindset of an entrepreneur to switch from a normal schedule to a schedule that would put them on the road to see new things.
In addition, when someone does the traditional form of entrepreneurship and creates a new product and/or service they create a ripple effect. It fosters new business for sectors that need to support the new venture, thus furthering economic development. When this happens it also creates new employment opportunities for the local community, and potentially increases city revenue and revenue of nonprofits through taxes and donations of the entrepreneur.
Based on research from aHubSpot study, “Women of color founders receive less than 1% of venture capital funds in the U.S. each year.” Furthermore, “[e]ntrepreneurs of color are 30% more likely to experience a lack of capital and relevant networks.” This means that regardless to the number of entrepreneurs of color who would like to start a venture and have a great venture in mind they are fighting an uphill battle against biases that prevent them from receiving necessary funds to start or expand their company.
Additionally, people of color are also more likely to have less access to mentors and support groups for entrepreneurship. Without the support system they will face the difficulty of navigating decisions in their business that a soundboard mentor could help them work through.
However, this does not need to be the case. If we build institutions and systems that provide support for young entrepreneurs to receive mentorship, networks, and funding to start and grow their businesses then we can change the narrative around “Access is why diversity matter in entrepreneurship”.