As the business world grapples with diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in nearly every area, there’s clearly a sea change at work in the M&A world. There’s an effort underway to create greater access to capital for under-served populations, develop talent acquisition and retention programs for the next generation of workers, and create a more diverse c-suite and board room.

When a dealmaking community engages with under-represented populations, things get better, faster and more efficient, says Rosecrete Wealth Management founder and CEO Reggie Ford.

“Innovation is going to happen at a rate that we haven’t seen because we have more chefs in the kitchen,” Ford says. “Innovation is about problem solving. We have chefs who have experienced problems that you may not have thought about.”

He says as under-represented populations are better funded and get more exposure, then there’s likely to be broad economic growth. That growth in businesses and employment leads to improvements in areas such as education and more.

“That is where the need for eliminating barriers to those funds, eliminating barriers to the resources, really has the greatest impact,” he says. “It’s going to span across our entire society, our entire economy, in a positive way.”

Ford spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about dealmaking, race and the mental health challenges many minority entrepreneurs, investors, and employees face from their life experiences and why open dialogue can lead to a stronger and more prosperous business community. Hit play below to listen to the full conversation.