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Oregon Growth Board Spends $350,000
Should they be choosing the winners and losers?

During its most recent meeting, the Oregon Growth Board (OGB) committed $350,000 to the Include Venture Group for its new Black Founders Matter Fund I (BFM). The investment represents the latest effort by the Board to leverage the Oregon Growth Fund (OGF) to support local emerging fund managers. The Oregon Growth Board is staffed by Business Oregon, and Business Oregon manages the programs overseen by the Board.

Recently founded by Himalaya Rao-Potlapally and Marceau Michel, Include Venture Group is launching a series of Venture Capital funds seeking to invest mainly in under-served and underrepresented entrepreneurs in Oregon. BFM’s mission is to demonstrate — through capital returns — the ability of Black and minority entrepreneurs to help to solve societal problems through their innovative and differently-lived perspective. The fund aims to add diversity into a largely non-diverse funding ecosystem.

“This is a big step forward for our Fund and our state,” said Marceau Michel, co-founder of Include Venture Group. “Partnering with OGB has been a goal since the inception of our Fund. We appreciate their confidence in ...investing in Black and under-served entrepreneurs. As Oregon continues to create more economic opportunities for all — especially those historically left behind — this investment in our Fund encourages us for what the future holds. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with OGB.”

The OGF is the Board’s prime economic development tool, it’s been used to fund Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and other approaches to support Oregon entrepreneurs. First-time fund managers traditionally struggle to fund-raise due to a lack of an established track record, so the OGF invests in promising emerging fund managers to help them overcome that.

Reacting to the COVID crisis in March they forgave outstanding loans to CDFI partners.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Critics of Oregon's current leadership have expressed skepticism of whether this is such a good idea, and that it may be another well intended government failure in the works. Perhaps the free market is not as broken as some community organizers would like others to believe. This investment seems in line with much recent legislation championed by Oregon Democrats, a party that is growing increasing out of touch with the average Oregonian.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-12-24 11:46:10Last Update: 2020-12-24 12:47:12



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