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Closing the Disability Wealth Gap with Regina Kline
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Closing the Disability Wealth Gap Through Venture Investment with Regina “Gina” Kline
The disabled population currently experiences crisis-level unemployment and a lack of capital investing in early-stage solutions. According to the United Nations, 1.5 billion people globally live with disabilities, which is almost 20 percent of the world’s population. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s working-age persons with disabilities (PWD) are not employed. All in all, it is estimated that the global GDP loses approximately $1.9 trillion annually due to exclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.
The investment case for investing in innovation at the nexus of disability and tech could not be stronger, yet the disability market is massively underserved and undercapitalized. There are more than 2.5 billion people who would benefit from assistive products. People with disabilities alongside their friends and family control over $13 trillion in global disposable income. The US assistive tech market will be valued at $26 billion by 2024. The global disability community is expected to increase from 1.5 billion people to 3.5 billion by 2050 as populations age and the rate of non-communicable diseases rise.
Enable Ventures is the first impact venture fund dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap while achieving competitive, market-rate returns. It is supported by SmartJob, a platform to attract disability deal flow, and support and build the disability innovation ecosystem. Enable Ventures is part of the Sorenson Impact Platform of Funds.
In this program, Impact Entrepreneur’s Laurie Lane-Zucker welcomes founder and CEO of Enable Ventures, Gina Kline, for an in-depth discussion on how to close the disability gap by investing in some of today’s most exciting innovations at the intersection of disability and tech, and the potential for these innovations to improve all of our lives.
Regina “Gina” Kline is an investor, entrepreneur, civil rights lawyer, and thought leader dedicated to building the future of work by advancing the rights and interests of people with disabilities as innovators, workers, business owners, and consumers. She is the founder and Managing Partner of Enable Ventures, the first impact venture fund dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap while achieving competitive, market-rate return. She is also founder of SmartJob, a platform to attract disability deal flow, and support and build the disability innovation ecosystem, and a 2022 recipient of a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. ? Previously, Gina led a successful career as a civil rights attorney which included working at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, where she successfully led efforts to dramatically improving working conditions and the employment of people with disabilities.
Laurie Lane-Zucker is Founder and CEO of Impact Entrepreneur, PBC, an impact economy business that hosts the Impact Entrepreneur Network — a large, global network of “systems-minded” entrepreneurs, investors, and scholars of social and environmental innovation — and editor and publisher of Impact Entrepreneur, a digital magazine covering the emerging Impact Economy. For over 30 years, Laurie has been a “pioneer” (Forbes) and recognized leader in sustainability, social enterprise, and impact investing. Laurie was the founding Executive Director of the international environmental organization, Orion Society, which publishes the celebrated Orion Magazine, as well as the founder of a global sustainability think-tank, the Triad Institute, and Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, GIIRS Pioneer Company, and the first company ever to complete an equity transaction on an impact investment exchange. Laurie is the bestselling and multiple award-winning publisher and editor of books and magazines on sustainability and social impact — having worked with such acclaimed authors as Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, and David James Duncan — and the author of numerous articles on entrepreneurship and impact investing. Laurie is contributing author of the recently published academic textbook from World Scientific, Sustainability: Business and Investment Implications (2023).