CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Antares today announced the launch of REACH, a program designed to help level the playing field for entrepreneurs who are members of diverse and historically underrepresented groups including women, people of color, military-affiliated, persons with disabilities, or LGBTQ+. The initiative will allocate $1M of Antares’ own capital to a grant program in partnership with Hello Alice, a multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow.
REACH aims to expand access to capital to historically underrepresented groups at their earliest foundational stages, which would otherwise be challenging to obtain due to a lack of personal or “Friends and Family” funds and a discrepancy in how venture capital dollars are disseminated. For example, in 2021, women-founded companies garnered less than 2 percent of capital invested in VC-backed startups in the US, and Black-owned startups received just over 1 percent.
“When we support entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented groups in their nascent stages, we’re helping to drive a more diverse pipeline of companies that will ultimately benefit from the support and capital that private equity provides,” said Timothy Lyne, CEO of Antares. “We are eager to partner with Hello Alice in an effort to accelerate the growth of these companies and drive sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the industry.”
REACH was designed and will be led by Antares’ Employee Impact Groups. It aligns to the firm’s business heritage and brings to life the company’s purpose which is to “champion middle market growth so that its people, partners and communities achieve their full potential.” The grant program, in partnership with Hello Alice, will award $20,000 grants to approximately 40 small businesses. To qualify, businesses must have a viable product or service with less than $5M in annual revenue and be operated by entrepreneurs of historically underrepresented groups. All recipients will be eligible to receive an additional $5,000 unrestricted grant after completing a post-grant report and will be given access to professional development opportunities through Hello Alice.
“Underrepresented founders continue to face hurdles when attempting to raise capital for their company, a discrepancy that only hinders their ability to grow and scale their businesses,” said Carolyn Rodz, Co-Founder and CEO of Hello Alice. “That’s why we are excited to partner with a company like Antares, a firm that is committed to leveraging its leadership and access to resources in the middle market to contribute to a meaningful and measurable impact for those who need it most.”
REACH is a key tenet of Antares’ We Build Community efforts, which also focuses on grassroots organizations that support historically underrepresented groups as well as giving back to the communities where Antares employees live and work. To learn more and apply, visit https://helloalice.com/grants/antares-capital/
About Hello Alice
Hello Alice is a free platform that provides small business owners the tools, resources and access to funding they need to grow their businesses. With a community of over 800,000 business owners in all 50 states, Hello Alice is building the largest community of small business owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for that group. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. A Latina owned company, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, we believe in business for all by providing access to all small business owners including women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
With more than $50 billion of capital under management and administration as of December 31, 2021, Antares is a private debt credit manager and a leading provider of financing and investment solutions for middle-market private equity-backed borrowers and investors. Since its founding in 1996, Antares has built one of the industry’s largest and longest-tenured portfolios of middle market companies and has been recognized by industry organizations as a leading provider of middle market private debt. Through its Asset Management & Funding team, Antares offers investors the opportunity to invest in collateralized loan obligations, funds and separately managed accounts. Antares is committed to championing middle market growth throughout market cycles. Doing so allows its people, partners and communities to achieve their full potential. The company maintains offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. Visit Antares at www.antares.com or follow the company on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/antares-capital-lp. Antares Capital is a subsidiary of Antares Holdings LP, (collectively, “Antares”).