Ethical Finance Awards 2023

10. Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Leading Experts in New Majority Founder Empowerment 2023 In 2015, Professor Melissa Bradley, along with a group of her students, held an entrepreneurial summit. Its aim was to support emerging business owners from southeast Washington DC. The ripple effect of that summit, known as Project 500, provided 527 founders with help, advice, and access to the capital they needed to move their businesses forward. The project underlined the need for a means of supporting black and Latino business owners along their entrepreneurial journey. In 2019, 1863™ Ventures was born. Melissa tells us, “1863™ Ventures is a leader in providing culturally competent accelerator programmes, non-dilutive financing, and mentorship. By addressing the unique needs of this demographic, we help entrepreneurs to transform high-potential business ideas into profitable companies that generate jobs and wealth for their communities.” Emphasising direct engagement with black and brown entrepreneurs nationwide, 1863™ Ventures has named its clients the New Majority. Melissa says, “Entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly viable pathway for New Majority founders to build intergenerational wealth. Our goal is to facilitate this trend by reducing barriers and risks for these entrepreneurs.” Operating as a non-profit organisation offering learning programmes, 1863™ Ventures offers a variety of white-label programmes focusing on the fundamentals of building a scalable brand. Industry experts provide insight and expertise into key practices, systems, and processes. The company’s partners include household names such as Goldman Sachs, Fiverr, the NFL Players’ Association, Square, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Reserve Bar. In its secondary role as a portfolio manager supplying capital investments to emerging enterprises, 1863™ Ventures works with corporate brands, philanthropists, and venture capitalists. The company manages two investment portfolios with a third in the pipeline. Melissa explains, “Through 1863™ Ventures Fund I, we’ve invested over $2 million in non-dilutive financing to 17 companies across industries such as fintech, software, healthcare, fashion, food, and beauty. We started in Washington DC, and are steadfast in developing the local business ecosystem. For the last two years, we’ve been the administrator of investment rounds totalling over $3 million for the Inclusive Innovation Equity Impact Fund (IIEIF). The inaugural IIEIF investments funded 16 enterprises based in the District of Columbia. This addressed the variance in capital access for businesses that seldom receive early-stage funding through conventional financing.” 1863™ Ventures is conscientious in its promotion of equity and equality above all else, believing that all humans are equal in fundamental worth and moral status. The company is working to change the narrative that considers anyone other than white males as a minority. This is where the name New Majority came from. Melissa tells us, “People of colour, women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, veterans, and physically disabled business owners are entering the entrepreneurial space at a rate outpacing white men. Yet, research developed by 1863™ Ventures shows that it costs at least $250,000 more for a black founder to create the same business as their white peers. Universal opportunity is key. Our aim is to design and produce ecosystems nationwide that support and enable hard-working New Majority brands that have been historically overlooked and underserved.” This year, 1863™ Ventures is spreading its wings and going on tour. The company will be offering workshops, training, and mentorship in the form of a multi-day, mobile accelerator programme. Visiting destinations in the South, West, and Midwest regions of the US, the company will assess the needs of the New Majority to offer support on a wider scale. In Q4, 1863™ Ventures will launch a new investment portfolio aimed at allocating funding to New Majority-owned food and drink companies. For more information, visit the 1863™ Ventures website or contact the company helpline by text: +1 (202) 918-5274. Contact: Melissa Bradley, Founder and Managing Partner Company: 1863™ Ventures Web Address: Black-led business development company, 1863™ Ventures provides underestimated entrepreneurs with the programmes, financing, and mentorship they need to not only survive but thrive. Addressing the unique needs of a demographic largely ignored by mainstream finance and support programmes, 1863™ Ventures is on a mission to generate $100 billion of ‘New Majority’ wealth by 2030.