Additional $1 million in grants and services allocated for diverse founders

Antares, a private credit manager, in partnership with Hello Alice, a multi-channel platform that helps companies launch and grow, recently announced that, for the second year in a row, it will allocate $1 million of its own capital to diverse founders.

The initiative, which is part of Antares’ REACH program, is a key element of the financial firm’s commitment to Responsible Investment and to the role it plays in the broader financial ecosystem.

Mary Rose, head of Responsible Investment Strategy at Antares, stated through a press release:

We launched the REACH program to expand the flow of capital to historically underrepresented groups with a goal of addressing these discrepancies at the root level.

Established in 2022, REACH aims to expand access to capital for Historically Underrepresented Groups (HUGs) in their early founding stages, which would otherwise be difficult to obtain due to a lack of personal or “friends and family” funds.

According to a recent McKinsey report, by 2022 Black and Latino founders received just 1% and 1.5%, respectively, of total US VC funding.

The same report revealed that female-founded teams received 1.9% of VC funding, while just 0.1% of those funds went to Black and Latina female founders.

“We’re proud to partner with Hello Alice once again as we seek to address inequities and create more balance in the financial industry,” added Rose.

The financial aid program will award grants of $20,000 to approximately 40 small businesses.

To qualify, businesses must have an established product/market fit, a clearly identified need for growth capital, and be owned by entrepreneurs who are part of HUGs.

A select group of up to 25 grant recipients will also be considered to participate in Antares’ Growth Track program, a digital community space that offers monthly business training workshops, mentoring and networking resources.

To date, the firm has invested in the following organizations and initiatives:

  • Builders + Backers (Idea Builders): Virtual 3-month program for underrepresented entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground;
  • Digital Undivided (New C-Suite): Program for female founders of color including mentorship, networking opportunities and PR/marketing sessions;
  • Graham & Walker: Intensive 2-week program for female and non-binary founders focused on building skills, pitch readiness, networking and community;
  • Greenhouse Scholars’ Young Leaders Program: Entrepreneurship program providing comprehensive support to Greenhouse Scholars alumni in the early stages of their career;
  • Project W: 12-week accelerator program for Black and Latinx female founders providing tools, resources and connections to grow their businesses;
  • Recast Capital (Enablement): 12-week program for emerging managers in venture focused on building community and providing strategic guidance on firm building and fundraising strategies;
  • Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans & Military Families: Program leveraging the resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer entrepreneurial skills to veterans;
  • WE Global Studios: Digital platform helping early-stage female entrepreneurs build scalable businesses through tools, education, resources and community;
  • Women Founders Network (Fast Pitch): Competition providing access to capital, visibility and 6-month mentoring program for female founders.

With more than $61 billion of capital under management and administration as of March 31, 2023, Antares is a private credit manager and a leading provider of investment and financing solutions to private equity-backed borrowers and investors.

Since its founding in 1996, Antares has built one of the largest and longest-running portfolios of middle market companies in the industry and has been recognized by industry organizations as a leading provider of private debt.

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