Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) Launches First Ever Social Venture Fund for Deaf-Owned Businesses, During National Deaf Awareness Month

Multi-Million Dollar Fund to Combat 70% Unemployment Rate for Deaf Americans

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) announced the creation of the CSD Social Venture Fund, the first-ever social venture fund and incubator for Deaf-owned businesses in the United States. CSD is the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and cultivating greater opportunity for the millions of Deaf people worldwide.

“We are confident our new fund and incubator will help address severe employment issues and ultimately inspire others to emulate the success of Deaf individuals,” said CSD Chief Executive Officer Chris Soukup.

Today, more than 70% of Deaf people in the United States are either unemployed or underemployed, according to CSD. CSD’s Social Venture Fund is part of CSD’s ongoing efforts to close this significant employment gap and other remaining workplace barriers.

“The creation of this pioneering social venture fund is an important milestone,” said Soukup. “Today’s massive wage gap for Deaf Americans is unacceptable. The best way to combat this is to showcase the exceptional talents and successes of people who are Deaf. With so many success stories of Deaf people out there, this fund will not only help reduce this gap, but more importantly, strengthen and increase opportunities for the Deaf community overall.” Soukup discusses the fund here:

The incubator program will provide both capital funding and mentorship to deaf people who want to become business owners (startups), and to existing deaf business owners (established businesses) wanting to create employment opportunities for Deaf people.

Further strengthening this Social Venture Fund is that CSD is led by Deaf executives in all of its functional departments: technology, legal, public relations and finance. This helps ensure a team that can interact with participants directly without third parties and provide firsthand understanding and expertise of the Deaf community.

Application criteria for the Social Venture Fund include:

  •     Creating an impact and aligning with CSD’s commitment to prosperity among Deaf people everywhere
  •     Having the potential to grow and be scalable
  •     Demonstrating leadership through a clear and far-reaching vision
  •     Offering innovative products and services that provide a unique spin on traditional approaches, or that are entirely new innovations

For more information on the CSD Social Venture Fund, the application requirements and CSD please visit