Data and research are necessary to effect positive systemic and policy changes. In addition to events in our chapter cities and an online network, StartOut has completed its first annual research report “The State of LGBTQ Entrepreneurship in the U.S.”
While the LGBTQ community has gained representation and visibility in many fields in recent years, there is a lack of visibility on how our community functions within the overall economy. In the next decades, entrepreneurs and small business owners will create more than half of all new jobs, and the LGBTQ community will make up a powerful and dynamic subset of that job creation.
We’ve explored the motivations, migration patterns and fund raising experiences of LGBTQ entrepreneurs of growth companies.
Even controlling for “natural” entrepreneur migration, more than 1 million jobs created by LGBT entrepreneurs left discriminatory states in favor of inclusive states. States with policies unfriendly to the LGBT community lose many, if not all, of their nascent growth entrepreneurs.
37 percent of LGBT entrepreneurs funded or seeking funding are not “out” to investors. When asked why, nearly half said it was not relevant, and 12 percent thought it would hurt them.
12 percent of companies owned by GBT men have revenues of more than $5 million compared to 3 percent of LBT women. Meanwhile, 70 percent of female LBT founders raised less than $750,000 in funding compared to 47 percent of male GBT founders who raised more than $2 million.
The entrepreneurs in our sample clustered in three industries, with 75% of our participants choosing internet/media, software or consumer oriented businesses.