LGBTQIA Entrepreanurs

2024 Resources for LGBTQIA+ Entrepreneurs

While the LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way, discrimination still exists. Some investors have limited access to funding and face legal barriers such as being denied housing or job opportunities based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The International Franchise Association (IFA) believes in the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to increase female, minority, and LGBTQIA+ franchise ownership. The IFA’s Franchising Pride Council was established in 2019 as part of its Diversity Institute to provide LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs with opportunities. Every June, during Pride Month, the Council hosts webinars to educate the franchise community on important issues for LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. 

The LGBTQIA+ community has made major contributions to every area of business but receives less than 1% of venture capital (VC) funding, according to LA-based VC firm Backstage Capital. Luckily, more and more people recognize the importance of inclusivity in business and support entrepreneurs with resources like the ones below. 

Resources for LGBTQIA+ Entrepreneurs

Affinity Inc

Affinity Inc is a quarterly magazine dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ business community and its allies.

Backstage Capital 

Backstage Capital is a venture capital fund dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs in tech who identify as LGBTQIA+, women or people of color.

Business Equity Magazine 

Business Equity Magazine is a print and online publication that empowers underrepresented entrepreneurs through its news and success stories.

Diversity VC

Diversity VC is a non-profit partnership of venture capitalists focused on driving diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Gaingels

Gaingels is an angel investment group that provides LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs access to capital.

Gay Lesbian Directory

The Gay Lesbian Directory lists LGBTQIA+ friendly businesses and organizations. 

Hello Alice

Hello Alice is a free platform for small business owners to assist with securing business solutions and funding opportunities. The platform also specializes in networking events for LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs.

Lesbian Business Community

The Lesbian Business Community is a directory that lists lesbian-owned and LGBTQIA+-friendly businesses as well as events and articles. 

Lesbians Who Tech

Lesbians Who Tech is a global community of gay women and their allies with more than 35 chapters. The organization hosts summits and has programs including Bring a Lesbian to Work Day and coding scholarships.

LGBTQ Entrepreneurs Facebook Group

The private Facebook group is for aspiring and established entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses and offers education and community support.

LGBTQ Hub for Small Businesses

This online platform is offered through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and includes resources to build more inclusive workplaces.

National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)

The NGLCC is an organization of LGBTQIA+ owned businesses and provides resources, networking opportunities, and certification. 

Open for Business

Open for Business is a coalition of businesses that drives LGBTQIA+ inclusion as a way to increase economic growth and societal harmony. 

OutBuro

OutBuro connects LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs looking to grow professionally and personally.  

Out Professionals

Out Professionals is a membership-based non-profit networking organization for the LGBTQIA+ community. It hosts a business directory, membership directory, list of B2B network groups, job listings and more. 

Pipeline Angels

Pipeline Angels creates capital for LGBTQIA+ founders and offers a pitch summit and bootcamps.

Pride Fund

Pride Fund is an investment fund that focuses on providing support and capital to LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs who offer technologies and services relevant to LGBTQ individuals. 

Stanford Executive Leadership Program 

The Stanford Executive Leadership Program is a one-of-a-kind program for executives who identify as LGBTQIA+. It covers topics such as using gender inclusive language and offers ways to communicate confidently.  

StartOut 

StartOut is a non-profit organization that supports LGBTQIA+ business owners and offers a mentorship program, an accelerator program, and an annual conference.

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