Hillary Clinton and June Sarpong launch EQL:Pledge at London Tech Week
Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton helped to launch a new pledge which aims to increase funding for business founders from underrepresented backgrounds as part of this year’s London Tech Week.
Clinton joined British TV presenter June Sarpong to take wraps off the EQL:Pledge at the London tech show.
Organised by non-profit organisation EQL:HER, alongside presentation platform Pitch, EQL:Pledge aims to help founders from backgrounds underrepresented in entrepreneurship to secure funding to grow their businesses.
It is now calling on investors to commit either an amount or percentage of funding to startups founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs. This includes women, people of colour, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with refugee status, people from lower socioeconomic status, and people with disability.
The EQL:Pledge will connect founders from these backgrounds with investors via a public pitch deck library, enabling founders and investors to easily connect.
DE&I campaigner and broadcaster Sarpong announced the EQL:Pledge on Tuesday at the London Tech Week Headline Keynote stage. Sarpong is one of the investors alongside the likes of Clinton, lawyer Cherie Blair, pitch founder and CEO, Christian Reber, and founders Factory co-founder Brent Hoberman.
Sarpong said: “We know that a lack of access to capital is one of the biggest obstacles diverse entrepreneurs face in both starting and scaling up their business ideas. This is not only a loss for them but also to the venture community and society as a whole: think of the brilliant innovations that have not been realised because of existing inequities.
“EQL:Pledge seeks to address this in a meaningful way”.
Clinton noted: “The glaring disparity in representation across the startup ecosystems means we all miss out on the benefits that come from diverse leadership. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to actively change the narrative.”
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