RADNOR, Pa., Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — 2020 has brought the issue of equality to the forefront of the national agenda, yet black and women-owned businesses continue to be left behind. According to TechCrunch, in 2019, only 2.8% of total VC funding was invested in women-owned businesses and less than 1% was invested in black-owned businesses. When this limited access to capital is combined with under-utilization of equity compensation, businesses are less likely to scale and succeed.
In response to this persistent inequality, Plan Management Corp. has launched the OptionTrax Equity Inclusion Initiative to fund the growth of black-owned and women-owned businesses via the implementation of successful equity programs.
Businesses without effective equity award programs miss out on a powerful tool for driving business performance. Cash-strapped growth stage companies can leverage the potential upside of equity awards to attract and retain top talent when the salaries offered may be below-market. In the current pandemic environment, equity awards are powerful stopgaps to provide value to employees when economic conditions require salary freezes, cuts or even employee furloughs. Studies demonstrate that stock options may increase the chance of success for younger companies by building a high-commitment work environment that drives culture, loyalty and performance.
As companies mature, equity programs also align incentives for employees, executives and shareholders, and show the commitment to performance that institutional investors and proxy advisory groups require. Plan Management Corp. COO, Elena Thomas, explained, “Experientially, we know that expanding the use of equity incentive plans in women-owned and black-owned businesses will contribute to the growth of these businesses and in turn drive job creation, build wealth, and support a more equitable economy.”
Data shows that equity award programs help to drive growth, but the IRS, FASB and SEC require complicated tax, accounting and disclosure requirements. The easy-to-use OptionTrax equity management platform simplifies those challenges.
“Along with our leading-edge technology, our 28 years of serving growth-stage companies in this space makes us uniquely qualified to provide effective tools and advice for equity management. This is why we created the OptionTrax Equity Inclusion Initiative,” Elena added.
Successful applicants into the program will receive pro bono OptionTrax services for a full year-and-a-half, including:
- Use of the OptionTrax® equity management administration platform, which provides full equity plan and cap table management functionality with integrated financial reporting, tax calculations and growth modeling.
- Use of the OptionTrax® employee portal, with which companies will be able to engage and communicate with their employees about their equity in order to further drive commitment and performance.
- An equity plan best practice consultation to make sure companies are starting off on the right foot or making the most out of their existing equity.
The OptionTrax Equity Inclusion Initiative aims to remove the hurdles of reporting and management to help underserved businesses reap the benefits of successful equity programs.
Applications are being accepted now through November 15th, 2020. Eligibility requirements and the application are located at https://www.optiontrax.com/equity-initiative-form
SOURCE Plan Management Corp.