It would be an understatement to say that a lot has changed over the last month. Coronavirus has not only created new challenges, but also exacerbated deep systemic inequities – highlighting the need to support solutions to those problems.
Entrepreneurs provide the hustle, ingenuity and foresight needed in the response to a major crisis like this. Our team has been working for a decade to support impact-driven founders, and here's how we've been adapting and evolving over the past weeks:
Connecting investors with solutions-oriented entrepreneurs
We launched a directory of startups that are contributing solutions to the crisis through innovations in health care, economic resiliency, or other areas. The COVID-19 Coalition, our, initiative with Sorenson Impact Foundation, is a coalition of entrepreneurs responding to COVID-19, and investors actively looking to support big, urgent ideas. You can join today.
Accelerating entrepreneurs solving COVID-19 challenges
We’re doubling down on our efforts to ensure that entrepreneurs working on impactful solutions to the problems exacerbated by COVID-19 are receiving the support they need to scale. As a result, we’re continuing to recruit for our upcoming accelerator programs and moving our workshops and programming to interactive virtual formats.
Currently, as part of our Finance Forward initiative with MetLife Foundation and PayPal, we’re looking for startups who are helping tackle issues related to financial health and resiliency, particularly for those most vulnerable to the fallout for COVID-19. You can find out more and apply here.
Sharing resources for entrepreneurs
We're inspired by the way founders, advocates, investors, and supporters have rallied to help startups navigate through these uncertain days. We’ve shared some of the resources, and will continue to update the list.
Backing alumni who are responding to the crisis
Our new blog series, Crisis and Innovation, shares the stories of startups responding to COVID and economic challenges:
How You Can Help
This crisis is breeding innovation – and if you’re looking for ways to join us in doubling down to back the entrepreneurs who are tackling this crisis, we have a few ideas:
Thank you to everyone in our network for your continued support – and to the entrepreneurs who are continuing to build a better future every day.
(WASHINGTON, DC) - On October 11, Village Capital and Open Markets Institute hosted “A Right to Compete: Are Monopolies Crushing Entrepreneurship?” a conference on competition policy and the declining right to compete for entrepreneurs in America.Read more
(Nairobi, Kenya) - Incubators, accelerators and seed funds in sub-Saharan Africa are encouraged to apply by July 6 for VilCap Communities Africa, a programme to equip entrepreneur ecosystem leaders across sub-Saharan Africa with the tools, resources and connections they need to catalyze impact investment.
The programme’s organizers will select 15 applicants to take part in forums this summer and fall in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town, where they will share learnings and best practices. The programme is being run by global venture capital firm Village Capital and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Impact Programme. A video about the programme has been viewed more than 3,000 times.