The Healthcare Venture Capital Landscape: Projections and the Disparity in Funding for Black Women

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In recent years, the healthcare industry has witnessed a surge in venture capital (VC) investments, driven by innovative technologies and promising startups aiming to revolutionize the sector. However, amidst this growth, a stark reality persists: the glaring disparity in funding, particularly concerning Black women entrepreneurs. As the healthcare landscape evolves, it's imperative to address this issue to ensure equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. This article explores the projections of healthcare venture capital and sheds light on the challenges faced by Black women in accessing funding, employing MLA citations to support the discussion.

Rising Trends in Healthcare Venture Capital

The healthcare industry has been a magnet for venture capital investments, with funding reaching unprecedented levels in recent years. According to a report by PitchBook, healthcare VC funding surpassed $30 billion in 2020, marking a significant increase from previous years ("Venture Monitor Q4 2020"). The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated investments in healthcare, with a focus on digital health solutions, telemedicine, and biotech innovations.

This critical sector has long been a focal point for investors due to its immense potential for disruption and innovation. According to a report by CB Insights, global healthcare VC funding reached a record high of $80.6 billion in 2020, marking a substantial increase from previous years [1]. This surge in investment has been driven by various factors, including advancements in technology, changing consumer preferences, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the importance of healthcare infrastructure and innovation.

Venture capitalists are increasingly drawn to healthcare startups offering disruptive technologies that promise to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency within the healthcare system. With a growing emphasis on data analytics, artificial intelligence, and personalized medicine, entrepreneurs are capitalizing on opportunities to address longstanding challenges in healthcare delivery and access.

Projections and Trends

Projections indicate continued growth in healthcare venture capital, with investors increasingly interested in areas such as telemedicine, digital health platforms, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth services and remote monitoring solutions, leading to significant investment in virtual care startups [2]. Furthermore, the rise of personalized medicine, genomics, and AI-driven diagnostics has opened up new opportunities for innovation and investment in the healthcare sector [3].

The Funding Disparity for Black Women Entrepreneurs

Despite the overall surge in healthcare venture capital, Black women entrepreneurs continue to face significant barriers in accessing funding. Studies have highlighted the persistent racial and gender disparities in VC funding, with Black women receiving a disproportionately small share of investment dollars. According to research by ProjectDiane, Black women-led startups raised just 0.0006% of the total venture capital funding between 2009 and 2017 ("ProjectDiane: The State of Black Women Founders").

Research indicates that minority-owned businesses, particularly those led by black women, receive disproportionately less VC funding compared to their counterparts [4]. A study by RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC found that only 0.27% of VC funding in the United States went to black female founders between 2018 and 2019 [5]. This glaring disparity underscores the systemic barriers and biases that hinder the progress of underrepresented entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry.

Despite the promising outlook for healthcare venture capital, black women entrepreneurs continue to face significant challenges in accessing funding for their ventures. The lack of diversity within the venture capital ecosystem, coupled with implicit biases and systemic barriers, contributes to this funding gap. Black women entrepreneurs often encounter challenges in building networks, securing meetings with investors, and gaining access to mentorship and support networks critical for startup success.

Systemic Challenges and Barriers

Several factors contribute to the lack of funding for black women entrepreneurs in healthcare. Structural inequalities, including limited access to networks, mentorship opportunities, and financial resources, often place these entrepreneurs at a disadvantage from the outset. Moreover, implicit biases and stereotypes prevalent in the venture capital ecosystem can lead to unconscious discrimination against minority founders during the funding process [6].

Addressing the Disparities: Strategies for Change

To address the funding disparities faced by Black women entrepreneurs in healthcare and beyond, concerted efforts are needed from stakeholders across the ecosystem. Venture capital firms must prioritize diversity and inclusion initiatives, actively seeking out investment opportunities led by underrepresented founders. In other words, this means venture capital firms must actively seek out diverse founders and implement strategies to mitigate bias in their investment decisions. Increasing transparency in funding processes and fostering inclusive networks can also help level the playing field for underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, mentorship programs, incubators, and accelerators tailored to the needs of Black women entrepreneurs can provide invaluable support in navigating the startup landscape and accessing funding. Platforms such as Digitalundivided and organizations like Black Women Talk Tech and Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWISE) are actively working to empower and elevate Black women in entrepreneurship. [7]

Policy interventions and initiatives aimed at promoting equitable access to capital and dismantling systemic barriers are also essential. Governments, philanthropic organizations, and corporate entities can play a pivotal role in fostering an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem through targeted funding, capacity-building programs, and regulatory reforms..


The projections of healthcare venture capital underscore the immense potential for innovation and transformation within the industry. However, the persistent funding disparities faced by underrepresented entrepreneurs, particularly black women entrepreneurs, highlight the urgent need for greater inclusivity and equity in the startup ecosystem. By dismantling systemic barriers, fostering diversity and inclusion, and providing targeted support, we can unlock the full spectrum of talent and innovation, ensuring that all entrepreneurs have the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the advancement of healthcare. Ultimately, supporting black women entrepreneurs not only promotes equity and diversity but also enhances the overall effectiveness and impact of healthcare ventures.


[1] Black Women Talk Tech. "About Us." Accessed March 17, 2024.

[2] BWISE. "About Us." Accessed March 17, 2024.

[3] CB Insights. "State of Healthcare Q4'20 Report." CB Insights, 2020.

[4] Choudhury, Supratim. "Health Tech Funding: The Pandemic Continues to Drive Up Deals and Dollars." Forbes, 2021.

[5] Fairlie, Robert W. "Minority Business Ownership: Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners." U.S. Small Business Administration, 2016.

[6] Gompers, Paul A., et al. "Venture Capital's Role in Financing Innovation: What We Know and How Much We Still Need to Learn." Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 23, no. 3, 2009, pp. 23-47.

[7] Polsky, Daniel, et al. "Telehealth Is the Future of Health Care. But a Lot Has to Happen Before It’s Mainstream." Harvard Business Review, 2021.

[8] "ProjectDiane: The State of Black Women Founders." Digitalundivided, 2018,

[9] RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC. "Diversity in VC: The RateMyInvestor Report 2020."

[10]"Venture Monitor Q4 2020." PitchBook, 2020,  

More posts by Sarah Sackey.
The Healthcare Venture Capital Landscape: Projections and the Disparity in Funding for Black Women
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