DETROIT, MI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new research report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) finds that women and minorities are significantly underrepresented in high-tech incubators and accelerators, but uncovers many examples of incubators and accelerators that have been successful in attracting more diverse entrepreneurs. The report, Creating Inclusive High-Tech Incubators and Accelerators: Strategies to Increase Participation Rates of Women and Minority Entrepreneurs, was announced by JPMorgan Chase and ICIC on Monday in a session at Detroit Startup Week.
“Research has shown that diversity is an asset to high growth companies, but far too few women and entrepreneurs of color are participating in the successful, high-tech incubators that launch such enterprises,” said Janis Bowdler, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase Global Philanthropy. “This report provides a playbook to connect more women and minority entrepreneurs with the critical tools and resources needed to scale companies, leading to more inclusive and equitable economic growth.”
Interviews with over 75 industry experts and an exhaustive review of research informed the study, which found that women and minority entrepreneurs face significant barriers gaining access to high-tech incubators and accelerators. Intentional exclusivity and a lack of outreach are the strongest barriers to diversity. Inherent biases in the selection process and “one-size-fits-all” program design also create barriers.
“Increasing participation of women and minorities in high-tech incubators and accelerators is definitely feasible, and we have identified several effective strategies that are already being used by some leading organizations,” said Kimberly Zeuli, ICIC’s Director of Research and lead author of the report. Diverse leadership teams and intentional outreach to women and minority owned businesses are two key factors that foster more diversity in incubators and accelerators. More needs to be done to make sure that all incubators and accelerators are intentionally supporting diverse entrepreneurs.”
The full report can be found online at http://icic.org.