Women of color, statistically, start businesses at a higher rate than any other demographic. However, in the sphere of capital, those women face a substantial financial shortfall. Only .0006 percent of Black women-led businesses have raised money in the recent decade. To achieve change, we must first diversify the investor landscape in order to broaden the investment landscape.
Currently, the focus is on providing funding to women of color, despite the fact that their male counterparts are known to receive significantly more. While white males receive 80 percent of venture capital funding, the goal is to increase the amount of money available to Black and brown people. Funding, education, networking, and coaching spaces are all challenges that need to be addressed.
Fearless Fund, the first venture capital fund founded by women of color for women of color, has partnered with peer coaching platform The Cru and the Tory Burch Foundation to award 150 women-led small businesses grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 for a multi-million dollar total investment. Each recipient will receive resources and peer coaching services to help them achieve their professional goals.
The founders of these three organizations worked together to create this program, which addresses the fact that women of color-led businesses are critical to our economy.
Originally, Arian Simone, founder of The Fearless Fund –– a 501(c)(3) organization whose primary goal is to increase entrepreneurial education so that African Americans can access capital –– launched a pilot program with the Tory Burch Foundation, which has since evolved into the Women Of Color Grant Program.
‘Initially, we awarded some grants, but just a small amount. We were more interested in seeing where the needs were. What is the purpose of the check exercises? What amount is gonna have a social impact in the community? We discovered we were lacking a key component: that was tying the community together. We felt that we needed some management, so the Cru was brought in to help with the endeavor,” Simone explained.
Tiffany Dufu, founder of The Cru – a peer coaching platform that offers customization based on individual goals – comments that this program provides founders with the resources they require. Founders will see capital, content, and community as a trifecta. The Cru is where the concept of community is introduced.
“I’m extremely excited about this program. As a founder, I’ve benefited from a range of resources,” Dufu continues, “but I’ve never been a part of an initiative like the one we’re offering for 150 women. Normally, you’d have to go to a various places to find the resources you need, however with this program we’ve covered all bases.”
While we’ve seen 20 million people abandon their jobs and exit the workforce as a result of the pandemic, the vast majority of those people are women of color. Dufu believes the initiative is advancing the culture by fostering potential. The program was established to assist women of color in recognizing and utilizing their abilities for the benefit of themselves, their families, and their communities.
For a chance to be chosen, candidates must identify as a woman of color-led, for-profit business and complete an entry form by February 9, 2022.
150 qualified small businesses will receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 each. They will also have access to a peer network that will assist them in continuing to establish and expand their business.
All submissions will be reviewed, and finalists for the award will be notified in mid-March 2022 to participate in an interview process. The first week of April 2022, the final grant awardees will be contacted.
To be considered for a grant and an annual membership to The Cru, fill out the entry form by February 9, 2022. Full details, including admission qualifications and expectations if chosen for the program, can be found in the Official Rules.
Credit: Source link