The investment world has always been fraught with power imbalance. However, the past several years have seen many people beginning to confront and re-think these dynamics of the VC industry. Take the launch of initiatives like Landscape VC.
A platform that highlights founders’ experiences with investors and provides much-needed transparency to a historically opaque field. As an extension to the focus around diversity and inclusion, meaningful conversations around harassment and discrimination are becoming increasingly commonplace. Initiatives like #MovingForward are helping to ‘restore power to entrepreneurs who might otherwise remain silent’.
As BGV’s community grows, we want to offer clarity on what we stand for and outline the steps anyone can take if they experience inappropriate behaviour. Which is why we’re proud to be joining the #MovingForward initiative - a movement dedicated to increasing transparency and accountability of venture capital firms around harassment and discrimination. We are pleased to support these efforts by joining 175 other VCs in making our policies and procedures public.
The following documents summarise our key policies and initiatives that promote an inclusive and equitable investment ecosystem.
Why does it matter?
We have celebrated the radical approaches generated by diversity since our inception in 2008. Back then, BGV ran ‘Social Innovation Camp’ hackathons that brought a broad range of people together. We introduced people with lived or academic experience in social and environmental challenges to some of the UK’s most talented tech and design talent wanting to use their skills for good.
Fast forward to 2021, and we now have a community of hundreds of founders and mentors that come from all walks of life. Our first analysis of founders in our portfolio showed that 42% are women, 37% come from ethnic minority backgrounds, and 16% identify as LGBTQIA. But, going beyond numbers, it’s a community of people that support each other through shared learnings, networks and advice. An environment where every founder feels safe and valued is vital.
If we’re to make sure that the people building tech for good companies reflect the diversity of the people they serve, we must be radically inclusive. We must move forward, together.