MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.–General Mills today announced that its venture capital arm, 301 INC, will invest a total of $15 million in two early-stage venture capital funds, Fearless Fund and Supply Change Capital. These investments are part of General Mills’ commitment to standing up for good and promoting racial and gender equity in representation through economic opportunity for minority and women-owned food entrepreneurs.
Both of these investments focus on supporting founders from underrepresented groups and will be aimed at food-related businesses looking to drive systemic impact and financial returns:
- Fearless Fund, a fund created by women of color, invests in businesses led by women of color seeking pre-seed, seed-level or Series A funding, with a mission to fill the venture capital funding gap for founders building scalable, dynamic companies for growth.
- Supply Change Capital, a venture capital firm led by women and Latinas, invests at the intersection of food, culture and technology. The company catalyzes the founders of food and food technology with a focus on sustainability, health and diversity.
“We experience firsthand the expertise and passion of the diverse and female founders of our 301 INC portfolio, and yet there is a systemic gap for minority food entrepreneurs seeking early-stage venture capital funding. “said Doug Martin, Head of Brand and Disruptive Growth. officer, General Mills. “We are excited to join forces with these amazing partners to discover and accelerate more founders, at earlier stages. Closing this gap means more innovations in our food system – from new concepts to emerging food technologies – and more inclusive opportunity cycles for entrepreneurs, businesses and communities.
301 INC and General Mills are committed to using their scale and expertise to improve equity in food access and representation. Since reorganizing General Mills’ venture capital capabilities into a disruptive growth organization in June 2021, approximately 80% of INC’s $301 investment has gone to minority or women-led food companies, including Grub Market, Pet Plate and Everything Legendary.
“Access to capital is one of the biggest barriers preventing women of color from reaching their potential as founders, despite their excellent track record of building successful businesses based on good ideas,” says Arian. Simone, general partner and co-founder of Fearless Fund. . “We’re thrilled to award General Mills investment dollars to women of color looking to cook up the next game-changing culinary brand.”
“Food and food systems are central to our culture and economy,” says Noramay Cadena, co-founder and managing partner of Supply Change Capital. “As the multicultural consumer population in the United States grows, we are focused on unlocking change in the venture capital ecosystem to infuse women and people of color with the capital they need to shape our future. food landscape. We are thrilled to have the support of General Mills in our network.
General Mills’ Commitment to Fostering Job Creation and Economic Development through Supplier Diversity
General Mills has been committed to establishing and developing relationships with various certified suppliers in the United States for over 50 years. In 2021, the company launched a sponsorship program to fund and support various small businesses in achieving their Diverse Business Enterprise certification.
About General Mills
General Mills makes food the world loves. The company is guided by its Accelerate strategy to drive shareholder value by boldly building its brands, relentlessly innovating, unleashing its scale and being a force for good. Its portfolio of beloved brands includes household names such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Blue Buffalo, Häagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Annie’s, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, General Mills generated net sales of $18.1 billion in fiscal 2021. In addition, the company’s share of net sales from the unconsolidated joint venture amounted to 1.1 billion US dollars.
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