Health to Wealth
Allie Burns: Where Investment Angels Dare To Tread
“The goal is that all investing is impact investing”
Allie Burns is the CEO of Washington DC-based Village Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in businesses which address social issues. What’s unusual about Village Capital’s approach is that it not only seeks to broaden the base of entrepreneurs that benefit from venture capital; it also believes that more diversity among investors will lead to a more equitable distribution of investment money.
In this episode of Health To Wealth, Allie outlines the fundamental inequality that exists today in backing for business, by gender and by ethnic background, but also by geography, with 50% of venture capital in the US going to three states, and predominantly to white male entrepreneurs. She spells out the consequences of this, especially in terms of the great ideas that could benefit society but never get a chance. And she talks about Village Capital’s approach to building diversity – including peer-led investment decisions that give minorities a vote. On a personal level, she reflects on her father’s business failure that could have driven her away from entrepreneurialism, but had the opposite effect.
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