At the Case Foundation, we believe that anyone from anywhere should have a fair shot at the American Dream and that there is a powerful economic opportunity to seize by democratizing entrepreneurship. Through our work catalyzing the inclusive entrepreneurship movement, we aim to support efforts that intentionally bring a more diverse set of innovators and founders to the table to drive high-growth potential, impactful startups.

By building onramps to funding, networking, mentoring and media coverage for entrepreneurs from all races, places and genders, we can break down barriers to economic growth and lift up new innovations that benefit all segments of society, which is both good and smart for America. Intentionality around equal opportunity is a cornerstone to our democracy and increasing data shows it is good for business.

How We Work

The next era of entrepreneurship is about raising the bar, leveling the playing field, expanding participation and scaling the networks of social, financial and inspiration capital that provide the foundation for successful startups and scalable business. As part of the inclusive entrepreneurship movement, the Case Foundation partners with social capital networks providing important connections, training and mentorships for entrepreneurs, as well as with the investors and influencers working to change the way capital and media attention flows to diverse entrepreneurs. Through programs such as #FacesofFounders, we seek to build inspiration capital for entrepreneurs, lifting up America’s dynamic, diverse entrepreneurs who are key to driving innovation and job growth.

Social Capital

To combat the trends of disproportionate funding and underrepresentation for diverse entrepreneurs, the Case Foundation is committed to partnering with social capital networks providing connections, training and mentorships for entrepreneurs. Incubators for those just starting out, accelerators for those looking to grow and the ecosystem builders generally paving the way for entrepreneurs to succeed.

Fortunately, more and more entrepreneurship programs across the U.S. are being set up with intentionality around creating on-ramps for women entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs of color. To learn more about these inclusion-focused accelerators, incubators and ecosystem builders, see our partners list or learn more on a recent blog post on ecosystem builders to watch. These organizations are committed to the inclusive entrepreneurship movement, taking action within their organizations to support diverse entrepreneurs and leaders building businesses in all parts of the country and demonstrating the value of providing underrepresented groups of entrepreneurs with access to capital, networks and support.

Financial Capital

Venture capital has often been called the “jet fuel” of entrepreneurship, significantly accelerating the paths of select high-growth potential companies. But the role of venture capital goes far beyond funding — it includes strategic guidance for young entrepreneurs, access to an elite network of other successful business leaders and often serves as a magnet for follow-on funding by others.

However, a growing body of data highlights a sobering fact: we aren’t tapping the full potential of America’s innovation and ingenuity because venture capital has favored a limited few — most of them men; most of them white. Only 10% of venture-backed companies had a female founder; only 1% had an African American founder. And 78% of all venture capital went to just 3 states: California, New York and Massachusetts, leaving the other 47 states to share just a quarter of the pie.

At the Case Foundation, we believe that this data, while arresting, also represents a powerful economic opportunity to seize, simply by taking steps to be intentional in reaching out to find and fund new, high growth and innovative startups from broader segments of society.

Inspiration Capital

In addition to social and financial capital, the Case Foundation believes it is essential to build “inspiration capital”—to demonstrate to aspiring entrepreneurs, funders and media that a robust pipeline of diverse entrepreneurs exist in this country. It’s time to correct the outdated myths and break down the stereotypes and default images of who can be an entrepreneur.

Through campaigns such as #FacesofFounders, initiatives like our Myth of the Entrepreneur series and platforms like Jean Case’s TED talk, we are building the proof points that innovative, successful businesses are built all across the nation, by entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.

Featured Posts

Getting In the Arena: Good Ideas and Innovations Often Come From Unexpected Places

While news reports focus on the power of Silicon Valley, we’ve found great ideas and innovators in places others overlook.

Read More

34 Organizations Building Social Capital for Diverse Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter

A Twitter list of inclusion-focused accelerators, incubators and ecosystem builders.

Read More

A Message from SXSW: The Undiscovered Next Big Thing

SXSW is often known for opening our eyes to new products, but this year was a particular breath of fresh air.

Read More

Myths of the Entrepreneur

The Myth of the Entrepreneur

We're launching a new blog series that will take a critical look at the common stories and myths told in startup culture.

Read More

The Myth of Isolation

The second in the Myth of the Entrepreneur series, examining and changing the stories our culture tells about entrepreneurs.

Read More

The Myth of Combat

The third in the Myth of the Entrepreneur series, examining pitch competitions and how they can sometimes provide too narrow a view of entrepreneurship.

Read More

Sector Resources

#ProjectDiane by digitalundivided

#ProjectDiane is a research study about the state of Black women in tech entrepreneurship in the United States.

Read More

Blackstone Launchpad

A university based monitored mentoring platform for student and alumni entrepreneurs.

Read More

Diana Project

Provides almost 20 years of academic research on women entrepreneurs and overcoming obstacles in the field.

Read More


Endeavor fosters entrepreneurship in global locations with the resources, but not the framework for startups.

Read More

First Round 10 Year Project

Researches the demographics of startup founders in order for seed investors to make data-driven decisions.

Read More

Hello Alice

A data-driven, scalable ecosystem helping women accelerate sustainable business growth and multiply global impact.

Read More

JumpStart Inc's Entrepreneur Toolkit

Here you’ll find useful entrepreneurial materials available for download.

Read More

NVCA-Deloitte Human Capital Survey

An interactive report on diversity and inclusion in the venture capital industry.

Read More

Project Entrepreneur

Project Entrepreneur offers tutorial videos and networking events for women building companies.

Read More

The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report

A report on the state of women owned businesses since the 2007-2009 recession, commissioned by American Express OPEN.

Read More

Village Capital

Helping build global startups that empower underserved communities and ensure resource sustainability.

Read More

Why It Pays to Invest in Gender Diversity

Research showing that a balance of men and women in the workplace delivers similar returns with less risk.

Read More