State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) announced recently that she has drafted legislation that would allow for “more diversified funding under the Invest Georgia Fund.” This legislation will be formally introduced during the 2024 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.
“This legislation is a direct response to the systematic attack throughout the nation on diversity initiatives, including but not limited to, the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action relating to the selection process for universities and colleges and, specifically, the recent lawsuit against Fearless Fund, a Georgia based venture capital fund that awards grants to Black women,” said Rep. Kendrick. “Over 30 percent of Georgia’s taxpayers are Black and over half are women. Currently, Black women receive less than 0.39 percent of venture capital funding and Black business founders less than 1.2 percent out of the trillions of venture capital investments made each year. With this legislation, I intend to change that narrative and require the Invest Georgia Fund to consider diversity when making selections for funding.”
The legislation would require the fund administrator of Invest Georgia to consider additional factors when determining the allocation of investments. The drafted legislation specifically states that the fund administrator would be required to consider the following factors in the selection of early stage venture capital funds: the promotion and growth of qualified businesses in Georgia that were founded or cofounded by an individual who self-identifies as a woman, non-binary, Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino or Latina, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian Alaskan Native, disabled, veteran or disabled veteran, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
Invest Georgia is a long-term investment program that is designed to help grow and mentor current, new and future Georgia Venture Capital and Private Equity Investment Funds in the state of Georgia. The program’s mission is to help create new Georgia companies, entrepreneurs and long-term, high-paying Georgia jobs.
The Fearless Fund is a Georgia-based organization with a mission to advance the progression of people of color by reducing racial inequities and providing access to capital. Rep. Kendrick presented the foundation with a House Resolution at their Fearless Venture Capital Summit this past August in Atlanta. A copy of this resolution is attached for reference.
Representative Dar’shun Kendrick represents the citizens of District 95, which includes portions of DeKalb, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves on the Interstate Cooperation, Judiciary Non-Civil, Juvenile Justice, Small Business Development and Technology and Infrastructure Innovation committees.