StartOut bridges the equality divide the LGBTQ+ community is facing by focusing on the critical lever of economic empowerment.
How We Support Our Members
Since 2009, StartOut has built a community of over 25,000 members. Every year, we provide support to 1,270+ individual LGBTQ+-led companies. We connect them to expertise, peers, community, and capital. This powerful combination of financial support, skills development, and community contributes to helping fuel innovation, economic opportunities, and empowerment to fuel social justice.
View the demographics of our Leads and Members below.
StartOut Gender and Racial Diversity Identification By Group
GENDER DIVERSITY (EOY22)
US Census: 51% non-male
US entrepreneurs: 41% non-male (Kauffman Foundation)
RACIAL DIVERSITY (EOY22)
Target per Census: 40% BIPOC
US entrepreneurs: 29-44% BIPOC, depending on data source
Moving Towards Equity
Our years-long efforts to equitably serve our diverse community have been increasingly successful over time, and we continue to work hard to achieve economic justice for every individual in our community.
- LGBTQ+ leaders are changing the entrepreneurial landscape every day. Our work pushes beyond needing a seat at a table and removes the doors from the room so everyone can participate. Today, more than ever, it is about creating inclusive and equitable spaces where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can thrive. We understand that the challenges LGBTQ+ founders face can significantly vary based on who we are, where we are, and on our level of privilege.
- Our community was built on struggle and hardship, but the work continues with LGBTQ+ founders building new and innovative approaches to challenges we face every day. Recognizing the intersectional lived experiences we have allows us to support those who build pathways to address systemic barriers and ensure success for all LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, especially our siblings who are trans/non-binary, people of color, and women.
- We believe the work starts by celebrating the contributions our community has made across the entrepreneurial ecosystem and leveraging StartOut’s position to increase resources, expand networks, and build the capacity of our LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.
Bridging the Gap
Access: We believe that financial restrictions should not limit the success of our LGTBQ+ entrepreneurs and their access to the resources they deserve. We offer scholarships to all members with a particular focus on historically underestimated founders. Since 2019, 1,200 founders have received a scholarship to join our program.
Representation: We believe that LGBTQ+ founders succeed when they can see others who look and love like them in their ecosystem.
Education: We believe in the power of education as a tool to build equity for all members of our community. The StartOut team is committed to ongoing learning through professional development and capacity building. In addition, we showcase the expertise of our community each year through the StartOut Equity Summit where StartOut members and partners share their insights and experiences in entrepreneurship. This event is free and open to everyone, and all sessions are recorded and available here for continued professional development.
Looking Towards the Future
By 2026, we plan on directly supporting the creation of $20B+ in economic value and indirectly affecting another $90B for the LGBTQ+ community.
Our direct impact is measured by the more than 3,000 select entrepreneurs whom we serve directly with our high touch programs and nurture to success. The indirect impact includes the contributions of all other small and medium sized business entrepreneurs who participate in our community and support each other through events, our online offerings, and direct peer-to-peer interactions.
Metrics by 2026:
Over five years, StartOut’s goal is to facilitate $1B in funding for 3,000 supported companies, help create 25,000 jobs and generate $20B in economic value.
In addition and through all its members, StartOut will over five year help drive $10B in funding to 10,000 member companies, create 100,000 jobs, and generate over $100B in economic value.
Almost every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has encountered unequal access to key resources needed to advance their business.