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Front line health workers are battling not only a public health crisis, but also a workforce crisis. Changes in technology, increasingly complicated disease management, and an aging population have all contributed to the significant rise in demand for health care services. Under-resourced at work and depleted in their personal lives, the health care workforce faces a significant worker shortage and has the second-highest turnover rate in the U.S.; A recent survey found that nearly half of nurses were considering leaving the profession. 

As nursing shortages rise across the country, the most vulnerable communities are hit hardest: for instance, many grassroots community health centers in distressed neighborhoods are facing layoffs, closures, and even bankruptcy, even as COVID-19 tears through these communities. These turbulent times have revealed deep-rooted inequities in health for communities of color, amplifying structural social and economic factors that contribute to poor health outcomes. 

Village Capital and Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures are partnering on a new initiative to lift up social enterprises that empower and support front line health workers. This initiative is rooted in Johnson & Johnson Center for Health Worker Innovation’s commitment to catalyze solutions that address key workplace changes for nurses and community health workers, in turn reducing health disparities among underserved, vulnerable, and at-risk populations at scale. Focused in particular are entrepreneurs with "lived experiences" -- those who have experienced first-hand and have gained intimate insights into the challenges of health access for communities of color, and are dedicated to serve their communities by driving innovations that address racial disparities in health.

We are convening health tech entrepreneurs, investors, and public health stakeholders for a virtual Startup Showcase on Thursday, November 12 where we will select multiple entrepreneurs to pitch their startups and we will announce and highlight the winning ventures to receive up to $50,000 grant funding plus support.  All selected participants will also receive mentorship opportunities from Johnson & Johnson leaders and training from Village Capital’s investment-readiness curriculum.

For any questions regarding the event, please contact

Interested in attending the event? Register here.