Foundation capital

Living Cities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation launch $100 million fund to grow businesses of color and close wealth gaps

Kauffman Foundation $10 million commitment anchor investment in BIPOC fund manager vehicles

NEW YORK, May 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — living citiesin partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundationlaunched his $100 million Catalyst Fund III, an investment vehicle to confront and address underinvestment in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, of Color) communities.

The Kauffman Foundation is committed to a $10 million anchor investment in the fund, which was announced at the Milken Institute’s annual global conference during a panel discussion on access to capital. This investment follows that of Kauffman $1.67 million seed grant to Living Cities to better understand the root cause of the nation’s racial disparities in income and wealth.

The fund will leverage a fund-of-funds approach to support the ecosystem of high-growth entrepreneurs and business owners of color, recognizing that business ownership is a proven pathway to closing the wealth gap. racial.

“Entrepreneurship is fundamentally different for those who have access to capital,” said Philippe Gaskin, Vice President, Entrepreneurship, at the Kauffman Foundation. “To increase access to capital for Black and Brown entrepreneurs, we need to ensure that capital decision makers know the history and root causes of the country’s racial wealth gaps. We need to explore new ways to invest in the fund managers of color.”

The fund aims to increase investment in BIPOC communities by:

  • provide emerging fund managers of color with access to seed capital and technical support;
  • reduce the time it typically takes managers of colored funds to raise initial capital; and
  • allowing managers of emerging funds of color to establish a track record, gain credibility and position themselves for future funding rounds.

The Kauffman Foundation research reports on access to capital that 83% of entrepreneurs do not have access to bank loans or venture capital at start-up, disproportionately impacting entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities. Living cities’ to research shows that American entrepreneurs from underrepresented populations face greater challenges in creating wealth.

The research also suggests that although the total gross revenue of businesses owned by people of color is growing faster than white-owned businesses, at least 77% of venture capital is invested in college-educated white men, while only 1% of company-backed founders are black. . These stark racial disparities are compounded by the relatively low percentage of people of color in capital allocation decision-making positions.

“The Catalyst Fund III builds on Living Cities’ more than 13 years of impact investing activity with financial intermediaries, both debt and equity,” said Demetric Duckett, CEO of Living Cities. “Our approach applies proven strategies in collaboration with BIPOC-focused capital managers, and we have the investment know-how and operational support to effectively deploy capital to generate strong returns for investors. while achieving a substantial impact on BIPOC communities.”

About Living Cities
Founded in 1991, Living Cities is a collaboration of the world’s leading foundations and financial institutions. Living Cities fosters transformational relationships across sectors to connect those willing to do the hard work of closing racial income and wealth gaps. The organization partners with cross-sector leaders in cities across the country to imagine and create an America in which all people are economically secure, build wealth, and lead abundant, dignified, and connected lives. To learn more about Living Cities and its member institutions, visit

About the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City, Mo., which seeks to create inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-driven economic development. The Foundation uses its $3 billion into assets to change conditions, address root causes and eliminate systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility and prosperity. For more information, visit and join us on and

Media Contacts
Jeff Raderstrong, Living Cities, [email protected]646-442-3236
Kim Wallace CarlsonKauffman Foundation, [email protected]816-932-1254

SOURCE Living Cities