The nonprofit social startup that leverages data and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Latina and Black entrepreneurs in innovation and technology, announced today the release of their Project Diane 2022 report. Project Diane is the first-ever biennial demographic study that provides a snapshot of the current landscape for Latina and Black women in the innovation and entrepreneurship space. The newest report presents crucial and timely insight into the entrepreneurial experiences of more than 750 Latina and Black women startup founders.
“Building on the legacy of women like Diane Nash who worked to disrupt systemic barriers, digitalundivided is working to dismantle disparate systems that make access to economic equality for Latina and Black women difficult,” said Brittany S. Hale, Interim CEO and COO of digitalundivided. “Through Project Diane, we’ve been able to bring awareness to the myriad of challenges Latina and Black women founders face while also spotlighting their growth, strengths, passion and perseverance to scale their companies. We are excited to be building on this with Project Diane 2022 and offering a pathway to creating equitable access to resources for these founders.”
Over the past decade, Latina and Black women have been among the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the United States, yet face some of the most pervasive barriers that impede success. Through Project Diane 2022, digitalundivided explores several of those barriers, the growth Latina and Black women founders have experienced despite these barriers, and recommendations to alleviate them. Some key findings outlined in Project Diane 2022 include:
- To date, nearly $10 billion ($9.74 billion) in venture capital funding has gone to Latina and Black woman-founded startups.
- The number of Latina and Black woman startup founders who have raised $1 million or more is now over 350.
- The most well-funded startups are in California and New York; the most well-funded industry is Health and Wellness.
- In 2021, Latina and Black women received record levels of funding, bringing their combined share of venture capital above 1% for the first time.
- Latina and Black women’s share of venture capital dipped in 2022, but it was still the second-biggest year in terms of overall funding.
- Women of color founders experience fundraising as very challenging and feel that their businesses are undervalued, but they persevere to fill knowledge gaps, build a network and find values-aligned investors.
Project Diane’s research has provided groundbreaking insight into the experiences of Latina and Black women founders and has inspired more thoughtful global conversations on how to eliminate barriers in entrepreneurship for this group that is often undervalued, underrecognized and under resourced,” said Danielle Jackson, Senior Director of Research, Evaluation and Data at digitalundivided. “With Project Diane 2022, we’re providing updates to some of the critical statistics we revealed in previous reports and extending our research to explore more in-depth insight drawing from direct experiences from Latina and Black women founders.”
Project Diane, digitalundivided’s proprietary data initiative, was launched in 2016 to document the experiences of Black woman founders on their startup journey and spark a national dialogue about inclusive innovation. Since, the report has become a trusted resource for quantifying the unique experiences of Latina and Black women founders and building sustainable pathways to dismantling funding venture capital gaps for these founders.