Dear Friends and Supporters,
Our economy is extractive. It exacerbates systemic gender and racial wealth gaps and inequality. It's lopsided, it's racist, and it is not sustainable.
In the midst of unprecedented health, economic, social, and environmental crises, the urgency to do better is clearer than ever. And that is what drives ICA’s work - today, tomorrow, and for the past 24 years.
ICA’s annual Impact Report - which was significantly delayed due to the pandemic – demonstrates our commitment to accountability to our entrepreneurs, advisors, supporters, and stakeholders. While it can be hard to think back to a time before 2020, it is important to reflect on our accomplishments in 2019 - even as we face staggering challenges in 2020. In many ways, ICA’s impact in 2019 prepared us to meet the moment for our companies in 2020.
As we look back on ICA’s impact in 2019, I am proud of our courage – and that of the supporters who rallied behind ICA and the companies we support. We articulated a new, reinvigorated mission, reflective of the important and bold work being done by our team. And we aligned on a radically simple purpose: To build an economy that works for all. I am proud to lead an organization explicit in our commitment to fighting for equity. I encourage you to join us in thinking about what this work means, what it will take, and your role in it.
In this Impact Report, you will hear directly from Maria, Reem, and Fernay, founders and women of color who lead ICA companies – Progeny Coffee, Reem’s California, and Minnie Bell's – as they share their first-hand experiences working with ICA. Their stories illustrate the power of the coaching, connections, and capital offered by ICA’s Advisors, investors, and funders. They show us that we are working toward something urgent, yet simple, and possible – even in the face of unprecedented disruptions. The report also showcases highlights from our advising and investing programs - impact we achieved thanks to your support.
To ICA’s companies, thank you for inviting us on your journeys, and for demonstrating, through your courage, that entrepreneurs everywhere – especially women and people of color – have the power to transform communities and drive wealth-building opportunities. We celebrate our entrepreneurs, and express appreciation to our funders and investors for catalyzing their growth in 2019. But we are also looking ahead to accelerating progress throughout the coming years toward an economy that works for all. I’ll share more thoughts on what’s next in a later post in this Impact Report series.
ICA is leading a movement for a more inclusive economy. Our moment is now – it’s more important than ever to cultivate equity and empower entrepreneurs to transform communities. I’m so glad you’re with us.