At BGV,our aim is to make it possible for anyone to build a successful tech for good business, regardless of their identity or background. To help us understand where we are doing well or where we can improve, we consistently review our portfolio’s diversity metrics and sentiments on inclusion.
In 2021, we were the first European VC (to our knowledge) to publish extensive portfolio diversity data in our 2020 Impact Report. In subsequent years, we built on our work by taking a more nuanced, intersectional approach, trying to understand how a combination of various demographic factors affected our founders’ experiences within the BGV community (inclusion).
Our data indicates we are moving in the right direction.
To conduct the analysis in a reliable and compliant manner, we partnered with our portfolio company TEXpert AI.
The data below is accurate as at 31st of December 2022 and covers 57% of our portfolio founders.
Overall highlights of portfolio founder stats:
42% of founders are women (2021: 43%)
38% of founders are from ethnic minority backgrounds (2021: 41%)
21% of founders are disabled (2021: 18%)
17% identify as LGBTQ+ (2021: 19%)
29p of every £1 invested in 2022 went to mixed-founder teams and 16p of every £1 invested to women only teams.
Socio-economic background stats:
22% of founders were the first in their family to attend university (2021: 21%)
21% are immigrants (2021: 24%)
66% are first-time founders (2021: 66%)
In 2022, we saw an increase in the overall inclusion score to 4.43 from 4.37 in 2021. While it’s a slight increase, it is significant given that we have increased the response coverage of our portfolio year on year. The score is driven by a modest increase across all categories apart from trust, which remained the same.
The inclusion score is an average of seven scores measuring psychological safety, sense of belonging, level of trust, fair treatment, ability to integrate differences, equitable decision-making and perceptions of diversity and inclusion in the BGV community.
Our analysis noted an encouraging improvement in sentiments of inclusion within Black, African, Caribbean or Black British women to 3.8 (2021: 3.3) and Asian and Asian British men to 4.4 (2021: 3.95) - two groups highlighted in last year’s report.
Reflections on our commitments
In 2021, we highlighted three goals around diversity and inclusion, two of which we achieved. We renewed our focus on mental health by completing Mental Health awareness training as a team to better support founders in our portfolio. We ensured accessibility was at the core of our communication strategy by conducting a review of specific communications and training as a team with an accessibility expert.
However, we are still working to increase representation within the BGV mentor network. We aim to increase representation within the wider BGV community by adding five new mentors to our network from under-represented groups in the tech sector.
Finally, as a signatory to the Access2Funding campaign, we commit to improving our data, processes and communications to enable more equitable access to investment for disabled founders.
Read D&I at BGV for more details on our commitment to, and actions on, diversity and inclusion.
Being a B Corp is really important to us at Bethnal Green Ventures. Our mission is to invest in and support startups that use technology to solve important social and environmental problems. The B Corp process holds us accountable and means we maintain high standards for our actions towards all our stakeholders.
As a tech for good VC, we often get asked, 'How do you know the impact of your companies is real?' It's a more complex question than may seem at first. The nature of early-stage businesses means there’s still a great deal of uncertainty. So how do we know that our investors' capital generates real change?
At BGV, we want to ensure founders from all walks of life feel included in our community and have access to equal opportunities. For the third year in a row, we're sharing the results of our portfolio D&I data and our commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion in our work.