June is the official month that commemorates the 1969 Stonewall uprising, the historical event that ignited the LGBTTQQI+ rights movement.
Now, Pride month is an annual event that celebrates the visibility of the queer community, while continuing its mission to call out discrimination and inequality that suffers this underrepresented group.
The startup ecosystem is not an exception when it comes to opportunities disparities for this community. There are an estimated 1.4 million LGBTQ-run companies in the U.S., accounting for $1.7 trillion a year in revenue; but not all of them receive the same opportunities as the rest of the companies.
Having someone who understands your personal identity and your goals as a startup founder can greatly determine your chances of success.
Fortunately, there are resources available specifically for queer entrepreneurs:
True Self Foundation
A Puerto Rican organization that supports the well-being and development of trans folks by financing projects aimed at the queer community. They also grant scholarships and assistance towards the process of changing trans folks’ legal names.
Their portfolio is principally focused on the LGBT Consumer segment as a credible investment sector and to demonstrate the business case for advancements in LGBT equality and inclusion globally.
United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA Network for LGBT Businesses aims to bring focus on economic empowerment in the LGBTTQQI+ business community by providing access to the SBA’s programs and services. The SBA offers free business counseling where you can connect with the Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Center, or Veterans Business Outreach Center advisors.
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
NGLCC is an international conglomerate that gathers chambers from around the world that promote and support LGBTTQQI+ businesses. It is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBTTQQI+ people and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses.They offer strategic growth opportunities and strong local networks that can support the community’s upbringing.
Based in San Francisco, California, Start Out offers many resources for LGBTTQI+ founders that are developing their ideas into a startup. They drive economic empowerment while building opportunities for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. Also, the participants receive mentorship and quality education that can help them scale successfully.
Lastly, at parallel18 we’re committed to granting the best resources and opportunities for LGBTTQI+ founders and other underrepresented communities. Since 2015, our mission has been to support local and international underrepresented founders with high-quality education, funding and the best networking opportunities. With more than 350 underrepresented alumni, we talk the talk and walk the walk!
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