Digitalundivided, the nonprofit social startup, announced the release of their Project Diane 2022 report. Project Diane is the first-ever biennial demographic study 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.
“We are 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. But we have also spotlighted 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, they face some of the most pervasive barriers that impede success. Project Diane 2022 explores several of those barriers, the growth they have experienced despite them, 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.
The impact of the research
“Project Diane’s research has provided groundbreaking insight into the experiences of Latina and Black women founders. It has inspired more thoughtful global conversations on how to eliminate barriers in entrepreneurship for this group, 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. On top of that, we are extending our research to explore more in-depth insight drawing from direct experiences.”
Project Diane became digitalundivided’s proprietary data initiative in 2016. Its goal was 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.
To read the full report, please visit www.digitalundivided.com/projectdiane.
We are a non-profit organization founded in 2012. Leveraging data and programs, we advocate for catalyzing economic growth for Latina and Black women entrepreneurs and innovators. Our goal is to create a greater world where all women of color own their work and worth. Our mission moves the entrepreneurial ecosystem forward. We aim to increase funding, access, and opportunities for women of color in business and innovation.
We were the first to debut authoritative research on the state of Latina and Black women founders with the ProjectDiane Report. The legacy of ProjectDiane inspires our expanded research. All efforts are conducted by women of color and focused on women of color in entrepreneurship.
Our programs — START, BIG Pre-Accelerator, BREAKTHROUGH, Do You Fellowship, and the New C-Suite — mobilize community. We offer resources, advisory, and investment to founders at all stages of their journey. Digitalundivided’s work is based in the United States, but our impact on advancing inclusive innovation resonates globally. For more information, visit: www.digitalundivided.com and follow us on Twitter (@digundiv), Instagram, and Facebook (@digitalundivided).
Businesses are becoming more inclusive. Is yours too? Take the first steps to find out by reading You’re Invited by Kristen Bakalar.