The number of Black business owners in America is growing at an exponential pace. In fact, the number of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. grew by 60% in recent years. Yet, according to the Census Bureau, of the 949,318 minority-owned businesses in the U.S., Black companies account for only 11.4%. A major reason for the lack of Black-owned businesses is the struggle to obtain sufficient funding.
In a world where the odds seem to be stacked against Black entrepreneurs, it’s highly imperative for Blacks to support each other. That’s where Black-owned venture capitalist firms come in.
Here are just a few firms you can work with to get your startup off the ground.
1. BLACK ANGEL TECH FUND
After a panel about the lack of Black startup founders during the 2015 Stanford Black Alumni Summit, a group of Black entrepreneurs and angel investors started the Black Angel Tech Fund. The firm uses funds from successful African Americans to support Black startups.
2. ECHOVC PARTNERS
EchoVC Partners was founded by Eghosa Omoigui, a Nigerian investor who invested in successful startups such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pandora. EchoCV Partners invests in early-stage startups based in North America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
3. NEW VOICES FUND
After selling popular brand Shea Moisture, Richelieu Dennis decided to invest in more Black entrepreneurs. He founded the New Voices Fund “to empower women of color entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.”
4. BASE VENTURES
Base Ventures, founded by Erik Moore, is a black-owned venture capital firm based in Berkeley, California. The firm invests in technology companies in the seed stage. Base Ventures goes by the motto, “There’s nothing worse than being ordinary”, which encourages individuality.
digitalundivided’s aim is “investing where others won’t and championing what others don’t.” The firm focuses on tech companies founded by Black and Latinx women, having built over 52 companies and distributed $25 million in investments so far.
For the longest, Black entrepreneurs didn’t have many choices when it came to funding. But with a more diverse pool of venture capitalist firms at their disposal, the sky is the limit.