Caron Gugssa-Howard has over 16 years of strategy and entrepreneurial experience, beginning her entrepreneurial journey as a teen and operating several micro-enterprises after graduating from the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. She is currently the Director of Portfolio Management at ICA where she supports sourcing and vetting of new investments and is responsible for monitoring the performance, both financially and socially for ICA portfolio companies.

Prior to joining ICA investment team, Caron spent a number of years on the Programs team as Accelerator Manager, Strategic Program Manager and Director of Programs.  In each of those roles Caron was charged with managing, developing and implementing innovative programming to support growth-oriented companies to help close the gender and racial wealth gaps. Through this work she lead innovation, improvements, and quality control across all programs.

Caron is credited with designing The Lab Accelerator at ICA, which supports high potential early stage businesses to stabilize, grow, and become capital ready. Caron successfully lead the first four cohorts through through a month long accelerator and supporting them to qualify for ICA’s Seed Equity Fund.

Prior to joining ICA, Caron’s professional experience spanned industries in health and beauty, education, international grantmaking, and small business incubation – with specific roles in operations, programs, and executive administration.  Caron is dedicated to serving her community through resource sharing, volunteering, and making connections in the small business ecosystem.  Caron received an MBA from the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College and a Bachelor’s in Marketing Communications from Emmanuel College. 

First Job

Catering, through Ms. Jones Home Economic Class at Oakland Tech High School High School

Best Advice I've Received

"You’re not better or worse than anyone else." –My 10th English teacher

Why I work at ICA

To share, shift and uplift people of color through entrepreneurship

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