Diversity in Eship

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. They’re more than just words for us. They are the foundation of the work that we do as a Center at UNC and in the greater community. We are passionate about creating an inclusive, entrepreneurial community that promotes and values diversity. Our goal is to create an environment where everyone, from any background, can feel supported as they explore their unique path. 

We know that entrepreneurship in itself is already challenging without the additional barriers that diverse communities face. We are committed to using our platform to bridge the gap and serve as a model in how we operate by upholding our core value of inclusion. We hope that each member of our community will always bring your authentic selves and experiences as you join us on this journey.

Additional Statements from our Center

On behalf of the Eship Center’s team, our executive director, Vickie Gibbs, publicly expressed support of the Black Lives Matter Movement and our commitment to building a diverse ecosystem in this video recording, included in our June 2020 newsletter.

Keysha Jones, our community engagement assistant director, posted a blog post sharing our Center’s DEI initiatives related to our hiring, research, programs, and anti-racism resources.

Strategic DEI Goals

Our entire Eship Center’s team is engaged in our mission of diversity, equity and inclusion. We have established a DEI subcommittee that collaborates regularly to develop and track our DEI goals and objectives. Our vision is to integrate inclusion into all of our operating processes involving our students, community, curriculum and partnerships across campus at UNC and in the greater community.

Students & Community:

Goal 1: Attract, recruit, develop, and retain a diverse student body.

Goal 2: Secure and expand the funding model for our Eship Scholars program which specifically targets underrepresented student entrepreneurs and leaders.

Goal 3: Create an inclusive and welcoming entrepreneurial climate for all.

Goal 4: Increase diversity in advisors and mentors; integrate DEI within our onboarding processes for advisors/coaches/mentors.

Goal 5: Use our platform to offer DEI events, programming, and support for affinity groups of students and advisors.

Our Staff:

Goal 1: Collaboratively establish standards of practices and policies which promote DEI and hold ourselves accountable to following them

Goal 2: Host formal DEI trainings for the Eship Center team, Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, and faculty.

Curriculum & Research:

Goal 1: Ensure that our coursework and student experience aligns with our DEI goals and objectives.

Goal 2: Utilize faculty’s DEI research in entrepreneurship to shape curriculum and programming.

Goal 3: Continue to participate in research projects and initiatives with a DEI focus such as the Trends in Entrepreneurship Report and Kenan Scholars project focused on the journey of underrepresented minorities.

Our DEI Toolkit:

The Eship Center’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) toolkit is an evolving online resource. The toolkit highlights the center’s DEI work and offers  information and insights from DEI industry experts and UNC community members.

In our toolkit, you will find the Eship Center’s DEI mission statement, DEI goals, and additional DEI resources from our campus and community partners. These resources–which may be leveraged by students, entrepreneurs and business leaders–can  be adapted to your own  environment, including the Eship Center’s signature initiatives and programming.

Our intention is for this DEI toolkit to help the entrepreneurial  ecosystem strengthen its community and processes resulting in an inclusive culture within startups as well as established organizations. 

Access the toolkit.

Other Resources:

The list below highlights VCs, co-working spaces and other organizations that support and target diverse entrepreneurial communities including Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and women. Please visit their websites to learn more.

  • Resilient Ventures– Closes the wealth gap by expanding access to capital, networks and opportunity to African American entrepreneurs.
  • Black Pearl Global Investments– Enables access to quality healthcare by funding the deployment of proven healthcare initiatives for individuals regardless of their socio-economic status, nationality, or geographical location.
  • RTP Capital– Stimulates seed stage capital formation in the Research Triangle Park region.
  • Portfolia Raising America fund– Designs investment funds for women backing the innovative companies they want to see in the world, for returns and impact.
  • xElle Ventures– Acts as an early stage angel network for women founders by women founders, executives and investors.
  • Chloe Capital Invests in women-led & tech-enabled innovation companies with venture capitalist
  • Illumen Capital– Provides a pathway for investors, foundations, and family offices to access the world’s top impact funds and actively reduce bias throughout global financial markets.
  • Humble Ventures– Offers an inclusive alternative to venture capital. This venture development firm accelerates growth for tech-enabled startups in partnership with established organizations and investors.
  • Candide Group– Directs capital away from an extractive global economy towards investments dedicated to social justice and sustainability.
  • Backstage Capital– Invests in the very best founders who identify as women, people of color, or LGBTQ.
  • Fearless Fund– Invests in high-growth, scalable, women of color-led ventures globally.
  • Project Include– Uses data and advocacy to accelerate diversity and inclusion solutions in the tech industry.
  • Provident 1898 – Offers co-working space in Durham, NC focused on minority entrepreneurs.
  • The Loading Dock – Provides a gathering place in Raleigh that has been carefully designed for both people and businesses to flourish.
  • ICEHOUSE program from NC Idea – Enables the development of creativity and critical thinking, effective problem solving, teamwork and other entrepreneurial skills, enabling individuals to succeed regardless of their chosen path.
  • Official Black Dollar: Provides online directory of Black-owned or operated businesses, with a focus on those located in North Carolina.
  • Friends and Family– Offers a weekly newsletter amplifying pitch competitions, accelerators (with funding), and grant opportunities for founders across the globe.
  • GrepBeat’s Triangle Resource Guide
  • HQ Raleigh’s list of resources for minority-led business owners
  • Running List of Resources for Minority-led Businesses 

At the Eship Center, we believe in entrepreneurship for all.