Skandalaris Center

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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Skandalaris Center prioritizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion across all of our programs, events, and resources. We recognize that everyone benefits from access to these opportunities and resources, and that there are real barriers that may prevent some from realizing their full potential. We strive to connect students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the St. Louis community regardless of discipline or background.

Washington University’s Diversity Statement

As a community, we are united in our commitment to justice and racial equity. We will listen and engage to work toward mission-oriented action that makes our university and our city a beacon of justice to the world. (Learn more about WashU’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion here.)

What we know:

  • Females run nearly 40% of U.S.-based startups and small businesses*, while 18.3% are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and Latinx owned.**
    • For Black and Latinx-founded companies, 36% have a female founder, a higher percentage than the broader population.***
  • Only 2% of U.S. venture funding is allocated to female founders****; with 2.4% of funding going to Black and Latinx founders.***

How we are addressing this imbalance:

This work is ongoing and constant. Previously, the Skandalaris Center hosted the Simon Initiative, which launched many of the above actions taken to reduce inequality and inequity and to improve access for all entrepreneurs. Going forward, the Skandalaris Center commits to regular review of our programs and resources for equity and diversity, and making the Center an inclusive home for all innovators and entrepreneurs. We welcome any feedback you may have on any of our offerings by email at

Beyond the university, St. Louis recently ranked as the city with the most female entrepreneurs (45.2% of founders are female). This work requires community support. For curated updates and opportunities, please sign up for our DEI newsletter below. To share what you are working or how you could engage with us, update us by email at Additional resources in the St. Louis community can be found here.

Students can learn more about DEI on campus through the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

WashU Faculty and Staff can learn more about DEI resources through the Academy for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

*The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, Forbes

**US Census Annual Business Survey

***Crunchbase Diversity Spotlight 2020

****Pitchbook –NVCA Venture Monitor; British Business Bank, Diversity VC & BVCA