It may sound like basic common sense to say this, but one of the ways to help businesses that are founded by underrepresented communities succeed is to invest in them.
But access to money is hard to come by if business owners lack networks to connect them with investors. A 2020 report by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission notes that Black-owned businesses start with three times less capital than white-owned businesses. Women-owned businesses on average can access $54,400 in capital investments vs. $80,200 for male-owned new businesses. (Although the SEC report also points to a 2018 study that every dollar invested in a woman-owned business generated 78 cents in revenue compared with 31 cents of revenue for male-owned business investments.)
So with that in mind, Circulate Capital says it has qualified for the 2X challenge, created to boost investments in women's economic empowerment by deploying $15 billion. The program previously topped its initial goal of $3 billion.
Circulate — created in collaboration with Ocean Conservancy with founding investments coming from companies such as PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble, Dow and Unilever — has already invested in Tridi Oasis, a PET recycler in Jakarta, Indonesia, founded by CEO Dian Kurniawati, and Recykal, a recycler of electronic waste in Hyderabad, India, co-founded by a woman.