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Raising capital for your startup is not easy. It is even more difficult if you are a woman, particularly a woman of color. However, Black women have recently begun to turn that around. According to CNN Business, Black women are the fastest growing group of female entrepreneurs in the U.S. The number of black female founders who have raised over $1 million in funding has more than doubled since 2018.
“It’s beginning to shift a tide in realizing that we are just as scrappy, just as innovative, and just as amazing as anyone else,” says Jasmine Jones, cofounder of Cherry Blossom Intimates. Her company specializes in providing breast cancer survivors with bras and post-mastectomy prostheses, which are insurance billable. She believes that when Black women are severely underestimated, it actually gives them an advantage. This is because the business world does not expect them to come forth with great ideas, and when they do, it blows people away.
Tiffany Dufu, founder of The Cru, says that the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement has really sparked interest in investors to help support more Black-owned businesses. When calls for racial equality were heard around the world in 2020, many companies signed onto the 15 Percent Pledge. This movement is a promise to buy at least 15% of products from black-owned businesses. Dufu’s company matches women together so they can collaborate and meet their life goals. Because it is sometimes hard for her to balance her personal life as a mother while running a business, the connections she makes in The Cru lift her up.
So how are these female founders raising money when there are still so many obstacles to overcome? It helps to start small, says Denise Woodard, founder of Partake Foods, which specializes in making healthy allergy-friendly snacks. Woodard started her business by making vegan and gluten-free cookies at home, storing them in her refrigerator, and then selling them out of her car. Prior to successfully closing her seed round, she says she was rejected 86 times, in spite of all the traction she was receiving. She believes because many existing companies were born out of people’s personal experiences, they became successful among people whose needs were met. Now Black women are coming forth and starting companies that suit their own personal needs, which resonate with their communities. Even though, women of color have to work twice as hard to obtain recognition in the entrepreneur community, these women are proving nothing can hold them back with enough hard work.
Are you a Black female founder currently raising capital? How is your experience going? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.