Recognized as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual is ranked 111 on the FORTUNE® 500 list. For more than 165 years, this industry leader has been helping people and businesses throughout the U.S. achieve financial security by delivering life, disability income, long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage and advisory services.
Northwestern Mutual has had a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. In 2020, the company brought even greater focus to this work, creating the Sustained Action for Racial Equity (SARE) task force. The SARE mandate is to drive specific outcomes that contribute to closing the racial wealth gap. An extension of that work is the Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator® (NMBFA) which is one of many initiatives that demonstrates the company’s commitment to closing the racial wealth gap and empowering the next generation of Black entrepreneurs.
Each year, NMBFA selects two cohorts of five Black entrepreneurs to participate in its twelve-week accelerator program. This program provides these entrepreneurs with access to capital, mentorship and resources, including access to a broader network. The current program is highly sought after by entrepreneurs and has an acceptance rate of 2% of applicants.
Seeking to further elevate the impact of the program, the NMBFA leadership team sought to sharpen its existing strategy. This required a thorough understanding of gaps and un-tapped opportunities through the lens of its four main stakeholder groups: Founders, Venture Capital Funds, Executive Mentors and Executive Sponsors. To undertake this analysis, the team engaged Luminas.
Luminas, through its Stakeholder Value Xcelerator™ (SVX), helped Northwestern Mutual explore, quantify and validate opportunities to take the current program to the next level by sharpening its value proposition.