Goldman Sachs Pledges $500 Million for Female Founders

(Bloomberg) -- In an effort to fund more female entrepreneurs and investors, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Tuesday it will invest $500 million worth of firm and client capital in businesses and financial products run by women.

Called “Launch With GS,” the program will invest capital in businesses run or founded by women. Goldman Sachs will also launch a fund of funds focused on female managers across private equity strategies, which includes helping women build their investment track records.

The New York-based bank acknowledges that men dominate the financial-services industry.

“Changing that dynamic is going to take time, and it’s going to take a concerted effort by all organizations to foster environments that allow talent to thrive,” Stephanie Cohen, Goldman’s chief strategy officer, said in a statement on the firm’s website. “Diversity is also something that companies can drive through their core commercial activities.”

Venture capital is no different. Men make up 89 percent of partners at venture firms, according to the National Venture Capital Association, and companies founded by men raised 36 times as much money in 2017 as those founded by women, according to PitchBook Data Inc.

Ten years ago, Goldman Sachs launched another program dedicated to developing women-owned businesses. Called 10,000 Women, the program donated more than $100 million and taught business skills to more than 10,000 women in countries such as Brazil, India and Nigeria. Earlier this year, it announced it would expand the program with an online curriculum.

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