The Ongoing Challenge:

Despite private firms outwardly appearing to embrace the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community through engaging with internal policy creation and external-facing activism activities, the conversion of this support into funding opportunities for this community does not necessarily occur, and a large gap in investment towards LGBTQIA+ ventures persists. This gap is especially pronounced in the healthcare space, where members of the LGBTQIA+ community are particularly susceptible to experiencing inequity in this sector as both a founder and as a service recipient.
Insufficient Entrepreneurial Representation
Entrepreneurship literature and discourse also remains predominantly heteronormative, potentially deterring members of the community from participating in the ecosystem.
Inequitable Healthcare Access
Systemic barriers to employment and social services for the LGBTQIA+ community have had a lasting impact on the community’s access to comprehensive healthcare. Coupled with the national rising cost of healthcare, vital supports are continuously pushed out of reach for many members of the community.
Lacking Resource Access
Despite 7% of the population identifying as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, only 0.5% of all funding for startups went to LGBTQIA-identifying entrepreneurs.
Lacking Inclusive Practices
LGBTQIA+ Americans continue to face discrimination in health settings and lower-quality healthcare when compared to non-LGBTQ+ Americans, with one survey highlighting 8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual respondents and 29% of transgender respondents reporting their physician refused treatment to them based on their orientation.
On December 5th  Venture Lab's Social Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative  held an
insightful panel discussion delving into the underinvestment of LGBTQ+ centered projects. From societal biases to economic challenges, the panel featuring founders, researchers, and investors explored the multifaceted reasons behind the lack of financial support and potential solutions for a more inclusive and equitable future.
December 07, 2023 01:40 PM

Salon Hosted in Collaboration with Venture Lab and Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative

The social entrepreneurship programming is available to all of the Penn community, inclusive of undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni. Financial award opportunities are open to all students who are enrolled full time in a University of Pennsylvania academic program.