Goldman Sachs to invest $500 million in women-led businesses

In an effort to encourage female entrepreneurs and investors, Goldman Sachs Group 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.

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“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.”

“The bottom line is this makes sense for our business – because investing and helping companies grow is our business,” said Cohen. “We also hope it makes a difference for women who have big ideas but find themselves cut out of the funding ecosystem.”

Cohen cited statistics showing that only 2 percent of U.S. venture capital in 2017 went to companies run entirely by women and just 12 percent went to teams with at least one woman. Less than 2 percent of U.S. private equity firms are women-owned, she said.
Ten years ago, Goldman Sachs had launched another program, 10,000 Women, donating more than $100 million and teaching 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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