Since the start of the pandemic, Black businesses have faced detrimental circumstances in terms of having the support to navigate this difficult time.
In March of this year, Morehouse Alum James Oliver, Jr. took it upon himself to help Black businesses and families. To do so, he decided to start the ParentPreneur Foundation to empower Black people to be the best parents and entrepreneurs, providing funds, tools, resources, and social capital.
Four months later, Oliver is continuing his mission and giving $10,000 grants away to ten Black ParentPreneurs thanks to a $50,000 seed grant from renowned venture capitalist Brad Feld, a press release reports.
Black entrepreneurs are often excluded when it comes to getting funding for their businesses, which is largely attributed to the racial disparities that exist in our economy.
“Black people don’t have the same resources as many of our white ParentPreneur counterparts,” said Oliver. “Many of us are first-generation college graduates, and we don’t have a relative we can call to give us money until we can get enough traction with our business. Further, we generally don’t have the social capital to execute our good ideas or even imagine what is possible.”
This very reason is why the ParentPreneur Foundation exists, and Oliver further expanded on the issue in a recent tweet.
This chart is why the @ParentpreneurF is for Black parents who are entrepreneurs. To tell a Black founder they should do a friends and family round to launch their business is ridiculous.
Black people don't have friends and family to seed fund their startup.
Knock it off. pic.twitter.com/dW14SF6OCx
— James Oliver, Jr. (@jamesoliverjr) August 6, 2020
“Being a parent is challenging, yet rewarding, and we know 75% of all new businesses fail,” said Oliver. “When you combine having children with starting or running a business, that is a unique pressure that can be extremely hard to deal with.”
In addition to offering grant money, the ParentPreneur Foundation offers additional resources to parent-preneurs that give them access to products and services to help ease their parenting lifestyle, a press release reports.
Upon starting his foundation and launching his tech accelerator, Oliver’s boy-girl twins were prematurely born and weighed only two pounds each.
After completing the accelerator, he then raised over $400,000 to successfully launch his removable photo wallpaper business, which has been featured on major outlets like the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, and more.
Oliver’s initiative is both a model example and a moving story to let Black entrepreneurs know they can accomplish their business goals and still be active parents.
For more information on the ParentPreneur Foundation, visit their website.