Diversity in Entrepreneurship by Lakshya Vij

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eLab Contributor

eLab Contributor

Our world today encompasses different cultures, identities and attitudes more than ever before. That’s good news for entrepreneurship. Diverse opinions and mindsets lead to the challenging many basic assumptions and an enhanced understanding of customer segments. If managed well, entrepreneurship thrives in the face of cognitive diversity

However, even in the 21st century, 98 percent of VC funding goes to men. A recent ICIC survey of eight high-tech incubators and accelerators in the U.S. found that, across all of the organizations, only 20 percent of the businesses supported were owned by women and 23 percent were owned by minorities. The success stories, against all odds, of migrant entrepreneurs are not given the credit and recognition they deserve. There is also a case in point of bias against entrepreneurs who are not associated with an Ivy League University.

The Elab Program is a success story as it has been able to foster an inclusion focused entrepreneurship ecosystem. Our batch has more female entrepreneurs than male ones. We have a 50-50 split between tech and non-tech ventures. Elab’s module on organisational culture - focused on the importance of unity in diversity and the CIEE institute - serves as a global village by bringing together people from different parts of the world.

As part of the Elab - we have  the opportunity to interact with successful entrepreneurs from all walks of life. While Rocio Perez Ocha enlightened us with her story of building Bidha Sasa to empower rural communities of Kenya , ROLI’s revolutionary vision of democratising music and making some really cool machines in doing so inspired us all. It's not just the experienced entrepreneurs that motivate me but, also the struggles and persistence of my fellow entrepreneurs gives me the courage to lead my own enterprise.

It is in the economic interest of everyone to create a world in which all entrepreneurs have equal access to available support so that their companies can grow, drive innovation and create jobs. CIEE, with their Elab program, is leading the way in opening the doors to everyone.  

 

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