Currently, the outdoor industry represents a $459.8-billion-dollar-sector, yet only an estimated 1% of brands in the industry are owned or led by people of color. To help close this gap, outdoor retailer REI Co-op created Path Ahead Ventures – a $30 million investment to empower founders of color to start and scale their businesses in the outdoor industry.
Today, REI Path Ahead Ventures is launching applications for its Navigate accelerator program, which supports founders of color with existing businesses in the outdoor industry as they scale their efforts.
In the second year of the program, Navigate will offer founders a customized learning experience tailored to their company’s specific needs, as well as funding, mentorship, and one-on-one strategic guidance with subject matter experts. Founders will also have opportunities to meet with and learn from experienced partners both inside and outside the industry, while building their networks and connecting with founders of companies at similar stages.
Applications for Navigate are open now until March 12. Interested founders can learn more and apply at REI.com/path-ahead/navigate.