Why LGBTQ Entrepreneurs Are Working Together

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Apparently, many young LGBT members are often too scared to start up a new business idea in case they fail because of their sexuality. To help reduce career barriers for LGBTQ entrepreneurs and promote innovation around issues affecting the LGBTQ community, Venture for America and Out in Tech have joined forces.

Together, they are committed to building networks of LGBTQ entrepreneurs, promoting diversity in start-up communities, and enabling more LGBTQ people to see entrepreneurship and tech as viable career paths.

Venture for America and Out in Tech say the main reasons for setting up this new venture is for a few reasons which we have listed below.

There are Inequality Gaps for LGBTQ People in Entrepreneurship.

According to a study carried out in 2016 by Startout, 37% of LGBTQ start-up founders didn’t come out to investors for fear of prejudice and these companies raised 11% less capital than their heterosexual counterparts. Also, many LGBTQ start-up companies will move to cities that are more ‘gay friendly’ which can also put LGBTQ people off from setting up a new company. This inequality can be overcome through the promotion of diversity.

Strong Networks Allow for Better Resources and Investment

Starting out on your own can be quite isolating and even more so for LGBTQ people as they are in the minority in start-ups. This initiative means that people can find support amongst their peers in an environment where they can discuss and support each other for problems that they are facing.

Companies who Support LGBTQ Community Members See Positive Outcomes for Employees

A 2013 study from the Williams Institute discovered that LGBTQ employees at supportive companies experience less discrimination, better health, and higher job satisfaction and commitment. Startups, however, often lack the scale at which intra-company LGBTQ groups can be formed. Early-stage companies may only have a few employees, of which one or two might identify as LGBTQ. LGBTQ entrepreneurs can build formal networks to mimic the sense of community.

LGBTQ Innovations Helps Companies Solve Problems and Reach Out to New Markets

Diversity in company leadership drives innovation. Research published in the Harvard Business Review found that firms with a diverse set of leaders are 45% more likely to report market share growth and 70% more likely to have secured a new market altogether. Many start-up companies with diverse leaders come up with innovative ideas due to the fact they can identify gaps in their own specialized market.

Future Generations of LGBTQ People Should See Entrepreneurship as A Path to Success

The initiative hopes to promote the fact that LGBTQ companies can thrive and encourage younger generations to consider the idea of venturing into a start-up and not hold back because of a fear of prejudice or lack of support. Diversity needs to be seen as a positive thing and no-one should feel they can’t explore their ideas and the more support and acceptance the younger generation see the more likely they are to feel empowered to branch out with a start-up idea.

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If only the world was as “open-minded” as us… Alas, matters of sexual identity and equal love, often cause so much friction in the rest of the world. Here, find an open dialogue on the issues facing our LGBT community.

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