Avante Capital Partners launched the SBIC industry’s first diversity internship program this past summer – the Small Business Investing Scholars Program. Along with five partner SBIC Funds, we had the sincere pleasure of working with nine women and minority college students, introducing them to the fundamentals of private equity and private debt. Thank you to all the many speakers that generously gave their time to inspire and encourage our students this summer.
These students arrived at the program with varied backgrounds and educations, but they all had certain characteristics in common – their talent, their work ethic, and their commitment to make a difference. While many of these students were the first in their family to attend college and had never been exposed to the finance industry, they proved that valuable contributors don’t all have the same background. Each intern worked hard, learned quickly, made valuable industry connections and added diverse perspectives that helped to shape better decisions.
A 2015 McKinsey study analyzed the relationship between diversity and business results and concluded that companies in the top quartile of racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective industry medians. Therefore, not only is diversity a social imperative, it also drives better returns, more job creation and a stronger economy.
We have seen first-hand the incredible, diverse talent in the investment management industry. Women and people of color with strong educational backgrounds, unique experiences, differentiated networks and diverse viewpoints have generated substantial value for their respective firms. We have been extremely fortunate at Avante to identify talented women and minorities that have joined our team and contributed to our strong performance. We are committed to helping others in our industry continue to diversify the composition of SBIC funds and investments. If you are a SBIC Fund and are interested in participating next summer in the diversity internship program, please contact us. You won’t be disappointed!
About Avante Capital Partners
Avante Capital Partners is a women-owned private credit and structured equity fund headquartered in Los Angeles. Avante invests in high-quality, lower middle market businesses generating $3 million+ in cash flow in the form of unitranche debt, traditional mezzanine and minority equity.