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2016's Top Equity Victories in Finance

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Looking for hope from 2016 may seem like a fool’s errand, but consider the following.

With over two decades experience in construction, Tonya Hicks spent most of the past year building her women-centric residential construction and maintenance company, and she’s already got a waiting list of clients for the upcoming spring construction season in Atlanta.

With nearly two decades of experience in commercial real estate investing, Queens-native Tammy K. Jones is now leading her own firm, which partnered with New York City this year to run a new loan fund to give emerging developers a fighting chance to take on bigger projects and diversify the city’s real estate development industry.

Meanwhile, Jessica O. Matthews beat the odds as a black woman raising venture capital in the U.S., and this year closed a $7 million round of investment for her startup energy technology company. According to research from Project Diane, of all venture capital deals from 2012 to 2014, only 24 out of 10,238 went to black female founders like Matthews.

The financial system has long been a major barrier to many entrepreneurs like these. It can deny them capital to start businesses; it can cause the loss of affordable housing and stable communities to nurture young minds of future CEOs or star employees from historically disadvantaged communities. At the end of 2015, we reported on several storylines that showed some momentum toward making the financial system more equitable. Here’s the 2016 edition.

Read the full article at Next City.