s the tanning of America accelerates, some wealthy people are digging deeper into their entrenched positions and defending their privileges. Others are opening their pockets to give outsiders — particularly people of color — a chance.
The Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP) — launched earlier this month — is specifically looking to help women and people of color finance their businesses. And get this — your business doesn’t have to be in hi-tech to be eligible. One of the co-founders — Ed Dandridge, president & chief executive officer of the National Association of Investment Companies — told The Network Journal that VCAP is looking for the next Bobbi Brown, the skin care entrepreneur who launched a brand targeting women of color; the next Ray Krock, the founder of McDonald’s; and the next Carlos Slim — the Mexican telecom/retail/consumer finance tycoon.
VCAP is a joint venture between the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York (HBSAANY) and The National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC). Dandridge described to The Network Journal his rationale for starting VCAP: “By 2050, minorities will constitute the majority of our society, and along with women, they will be the engine driving our economy.”
The founders also cite as their rationale the historical entrepreneurial success of women and people of color, according to PR Newswire.
A subsidiary of NAIC — The Marathon Foundation — is administering VCAP. The deadline for the first round of applications was May 18. Check The Marathon Foundation’s website for the application guidelines and the deadline for the next cycle of applications.