Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, equity financing in the US is at an all-time high. But this form of capital in the US is highly concentrated by geography, industry, race, and gender. Equity investors are increasingly financing larger, more mature businesses rather than smaller startups in need of capital, and most equity financing is concentrated on the coasts and in the male-dominated fields of technology and software. As the economy appears to enter a recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic, we scanned international equity financing programs that could inform US policymakers’ efforts to improve the supply of and access to venture capital investments across geography, industry, gender, and race and ethnicity. We identified three international programs (in Germany, Sweden, and Canada) that we believe can provide valuable lessons for policymakers in the US seeking to stimulate economic development and build shared prosperity.
This brief is part of a larger project exploring how innovative policies and programs from abroad can inform state and local efforts in the US to advance an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources from the full project are available at https://urbn.is/lessons.