We need to demystify the funding ecosystem for underinvested founders so they can quickly navigate opportunities and gain direct access to the tools and resources they need to raise growth capital. —TARRA Founder, Kate Bailey

Uncharted & Underinvested Mapping the Colorado Funding Ecosystem for Women & BIPOC Founders

TARRA, Social Venture Partners Denver, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity & Mile High United Way have formed a public/private partnership with the University of Denver Daniels College of Business. We are researching the funding ecosystem in Colorado to understand the following:
  • What challenges do women & BIPOC entrepreneurs face when navigating the funding ecosystem for growth capital?
  • What ideas and solutions are being implemented to close the gap?
  • What tools & resources are effective at closing the gap of knowledge, access and resources to ensure underinvested founders can secure capital to scale and grow? Can we improve them?

Equity is access. We must create direct access to
knowledge, information and networks so underinvested
founders can secure capital to grow and scale.


Phase 1 Uncovering the Gaps

April 28-November 10, 2023

Underinvested founders in Colorado struggle to access capital to fund business growth due in part to:

1) The entrepreneur’s lack of knowledge about available funding sources

2) A lack of capital readiness

3) Limited social capital

4) Low confidence in their ability to secure capital

5) Unconscious bias from funding sources

A series of 5 roundtables will convene entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders from banking, venture capital, angel investment, micro- lending and social impact investment.


Our goal is to develop effective solutions to address
the unique funding challenges and needs of
underinvested entrepreneurs


  • Develop a research-backed view of the gaps for underinvested founders in the Colorado funding ecosystem
  • Provide a circular feedback platform for founders and funders
  • Give founders in-depth information about funding opportunities
  • Close the expectation gap between founders and funders
  • Uncover opportunities for new and effective programming models and technology solutions


  • April 28

    Entrepreneur Roundtable (completed)

  • June 1

    SBA Loans/Bank Loans (completed)

  • June 20

    Microlending/Social Impact (completed)

  • November 10

    Annual TARRA Summit & Data Presentation

Phase 2:

January 2024-November 2024

The partners will synthesize findings from
Phase 1 research to build and amplify our
respective suite of programs, tools and
resources to address capacity building,
access to capital and access to networks.

The Partners

TARRA is a professional network, collaborative workspace and private office in Denver, elevating women in business with 250+ members and corporate sponsors. The community is supported by high-value programming, mentorship, education and network development.
Social Venture Partners Denver (SVP Denver)
SVP Denver connects funders, businesses and individuals with local nonprofits and social mission organizations to forge positive, dynamic change.
University of Denver Daniels College of Business
John Sebesta, Koch Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship; Professor of the Practice, Daniels College of Business
Melissa Akaka, Director, Master of Science in Marketing; Co-Director: Consumer Insights & Business Innovation Center; Associate Professor
Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO)
DEDO is leading an inclusive and innovative economy for all by supporting local & global business development, workforce programs, & stabilization in diverse neighborhoods.
Mile High United Way
Mile High United Way takes on critical human services issues facing our seven-county footprint including the Metro Denver, Boulder, and Broomfield communities.
JP Morgan Chase & Co.