The Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) is the leading organization representing the Venture Capital and Private Equity industry in Finland. With a focus on fostering growth and innovation, FVCA plays a pivotal role in shaping the investment landscape. Driven by its members’ requests for support in designing and implementing initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), FVCA partnered with Inklusiiv to create DEI guidelines for investors.
Advancing DEI in the VC and PE Industry
Despite the progress made in recent years, the private equity and venture capital industry still grapples with a lack of diversity within its own teams, which in turn reflects in investment decisions. Recognizing the need to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) challenges within the industry, FVCA initiated the process of creating DEI guidelines. FVCA partnered with Inklusiiv to develop comprehensive guidelines specifically tailored for investors to promote DEI within their own firms, as part of the deal flow, and in the support offered to portfolio companies.
A Collaborative and Research-Based Approach
Inklusiiv partnered with FVCA to design a participatory process that would bring together investors from the FVCA’s ESG working group. Leveraging Inklusiiv’s expertise and joint research with VALIDEI on advancing DEI in the VC industry in the Nordics, the collaboration utilized the “EARN” model and translated it into practical application during a 3-hour live workshop.
The process began with a keynote session led by Inklusiiv, providing FVCA members with a solid foundation on the basics of DEI in the industry. The subsequent interactive workshop, co-facilitated by Inklusiiv and FVCA, encouraged participants from different firms to engage in meaningful discussions and identify practical solutions.
Finally to celebrate the collaboration, FVCA and Merilampi Attorneys Ltd co-organized an event where the finalised DEI Guidelines were presented to industry attendees. The event featured a compelling keynote delivered by Inklusiiv, setting the scene for DEI in the industry, and a thought-provoking panel discussion where investors openly shared their perspectives on creating more inclusive company cultures in the industry
Driving Change through DEI Guideline Development
As a result of the collaboration, FVCA successfully developed comprehensive guidelines for investors in the Venture Capital and Private Equity industry .
The guideline begins by explaining the meaning of DEI and emphasizing its significance in the private equity and venture capital industry. It also dedicates a section to address unconscious bias, which plays a critical role in promoting DEI in an industry where conversations between investors and founders play a key role.
The guideline’s primary focus lies in actionable steps that investors can take to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. These steps are categorized into three key areas: internal matters, deal flow, and portfolio companies. To facilitate quick reference, the guideline includes a summary table that provides an overview of the recommended actions. Additionally, supplementary materials are provided to inspire and guide investors further on their DEI journey.
“We are delighted to have collaborated with Inklusiiv on this important initiative. The expertise and guidance provided by Inklusiiv have been invaluable in shaping our guidelines and the process by which they were created. The collaboration and resulting DEI guidelines have received great feedback from investors, and we are excited about the positive impact they will have on our industry.” – Suvi Collin, Head of Legal & ESG, FVCA
Driving Lasting Change in the VC Industry
By working together, FVCA and Inklusiiv have taken significant steps towards creating a more inclusive and equitable Venture Capital and Private Equity industry in Finland. The DEI guidelines developed through this collaboration will serve as a valuable long-term resource, empowering investors to embrace diversity, foster equity, and drive lasting change in their investment practices.