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VC Funding To Black-Founded US Startups Reportedly Hit $705M In 2023 — The First Time The Number Fell Short Of $1B Since 2016

The state of venture capital (VC) funding for startups in the United States paints a concerning picture for Black entrepreneurs.

Michelle Burk

Feb 29, 2024

Give Your Startup A Head Start With A Business Incubator

Launching a startup is no easy task. From coming up with an idea that can actually gain traction to creating a solid positioning statement, there are plenty of caveats that can cause even the most well-intentioned startups to fail — or at least stumble along the way. This is why getting assistance earlier on to help focus targets and strategies is critical. Enter the incubator concept . While the term is often used interchangeably with accelerators, it is not exactly the same thing. Although the end goal is to help fledgling startups gain their footing, launch and successfully enter the market, the way incubators go about it is different. Read on to find out more about the general purpose of business incubators and what is needed before applying to one. What Is A Business Incubator? Ignore the marketing speak and jargon because the concept is very straightforward. Breaking down what a startup business incubator is requires nothing more than considering what the actual piece of...

While He's America's Bishop, T.D. Jakes' Business Acumen Proves He's Not One-Dimensional — 'I Wasn't Born With A Bible In My Hand'

Love is a powerful tool. Regardless of one’s perspective, the term and concept are pervasive in culture and real life. Whether it is Tina Turner asking, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” or Musiq Soulchild giving the world a neo-soul infused definition in his 2000 ballad “Love,” there is no escaping the impact the emotion has on people. This concept has even deeper roots if you surround its context with a good coming-of-age story. One consistent version of this story is the power of support and belief from a person or group who loved and believed in someone so much that the individual was able to positively evolve from where they were to where they were destined to be. And at the center of culture, specifically in a faith context, America’s Bishop, T.D. Jakes has an out-loud coming-of-age story. It started from pulpit, progressed across several business industries, and has rested in the love and support of his community. Born in South Charleston, WV, Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes is...

Josh Rodgers

Apr 10, 2023

It's Tax Season, Entrepreneurs — Are You Ready?

Whether you like it or not, tax time is here. For W-2 workers, tax season can be less stressful since your employer deducts your taxes each pay period. In most cases, you will receive a refund from the government after tax season. As for entrepreneurs, taxes are tricky since you pocket all your profits and must keep track of expenses to file them accurately. On the upside, there are various perks available to entrepreneurs that can help them pay less in taxes. Duke Alexander Moore, founder of Duke Tax, shared some helpful practices for entrepreneurs to file effectively.

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 5, 2023

Forbes Dropped Their List Of The 400 Richest Americans — And Only Two Black Men Made The List

Forbes has dropped its annual list of 400 Richest Americans. For the fourth year in a row, Jeff Bezos — the founder of Amazon — was No. 1 on the list. According to the outlet, he’s worth $201 billion, which is a staggering $22 billion more than where he was last year on the list. Right behind Bezos is America’s favorite problematic dude-bro, Elon Musk, who is worth a little over $190 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, the man behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp comes in at No. 3 with just under $135 billion in net worth. Bill Gates is No. 4 on the Forbes Richest Americans list, with a slightly lower net worth than Zuckerberg ($134 billion). And rounding out the top five is Larry Page, who recently stepped down as the CEO of Google but still remains a controlling shareholder and board member — and who has a $123 billion net worth. Yet, despite the diversity of the richest Americans on the Forbes list in nearly every other way, one group remains largely unrepresented on the list: Black...

Entrepreneurs Awarded $1.2M In Financial Support Thanks To The Meda Million Dollar Challenge

Five entrepreneurs have walked away with the funding needed to help their businesses flourish. According to PR Newswire, Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s Million Dollar Challenge — the largest Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurial competition in the nation — has announced the winners of the fourth annual competition where five companies received $1.2 million in financial support. Metropolitan Economic Development Association ( Meda) was founded by a group of Minnesota business leaders who were looking to attack inequity within minority communities in the state. The press release states, “Meda operates a growing Community Development Fund Institution (CDFI) that provides needed capital for BIPOC businesses to become sustainable.” Since its inception, it has helped to launch more than 500 BIPOC businesses and helped with more than 23,000 Minnesota BIPOC entrepreneurs. Almost 200 businesses in the U.S. applied to participate with only 12 making...

Shanique Yates

Sep 23, 2021

Spelman College Alumna Mya Havard Wins Pharrell Williams' $100K Black Ambition Prize

Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition is certainly living up to its name. A $100,000 award has reportedly been granted to Spelman alumna Mya Havard and her co-founders Ibrahim Conteh, Nashawn Chery, Faisal Gedi and Simrun Mannan from Williams’ Black Ambition. As AfroTech previously reported, the Black Ambition, and Black Ambition HBCU, created in 2020, partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to provide resources for Black and Latinx current and former HBCU students with startups in tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products or services. The initiative also provides entrepreneurs mentorship opportunities, capital gain, and pitch feedback along with prize money of up to $250,000. “With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources,” Williams stated in a press release. The funds will be allocated to support Shea.d, which...

Samantha Dorisca

Sep 13, 2021

What Do Lena Waithe, Yara Shahidi And Kevin Hart Have In Common? This Creative Entrepreneur Has Worked With All Of Them

Creativity and leading should go hand in hand, but some young CEOs struggle with this. Malachi Fuller, founder and CEO of Hyyer Creative Consulting Agency, shares his insight on how he maintains his creativity while leading a business at a young age. Hyyer Creative is a boutique creative agency that specializes in targeted content development and production, marketing, and strategy for creative entrepreneurs and businesses rooted in urban millennial culture. The Maryland native graduated from the University of Maryland in 2015 with a degree in criminal justice. Fuller moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduation, where he decided to make a big career change. “I had a strong background in entrepreneurship and creating content, so LA felt like the best place to grow and do something with that,” Fuller told AfroTech. Fuller said it took him some time to figure out what he was good at once he got  to the west coast. Hyyer Creative was birthed from Fuller’s niche for photography,...

Michelai Graham

Jul 21, 2021

How Erin Winters Teaches An Audience Of Nearly 300K Subscribers To Boss Up Their Business

Financial literacy is a skill that most adults learn — or teach themselves — over time. Balancing a budget, building credit, and growing a savings is no easy task. That’s why Erin Winters — a visual storyteller and creative content strategist from Detroit, MI — uses her platform to share her experience on how she monetized her business and teaches her audience of nearly 300,000 YouTube subscribers and eBrand Club members how to do the same. The Howard University graduate started her YouTube channel full-time in 2018 after an epiphany led her to stop working temporary one-year contracts and pursue a more sustainable career as an entrepreneur. “I was very torn. I felt helpless because I didn’t know what direction to go in, if I should take the risk on myself and do what I believe,” said Winters. “Or if I should kind of keep following this path that I had already kind of mapped out for myself.” Winter says while she knew entering broadcasting would have been the safer path, she decided...

Abriana Walton

Apr 30, 2021

Undock Founder Nash Ahmed Wants Entrepreneurs to Focus on the Big Idea

“Not all of your ideas will be good,” says Nash Ahmed, as he reflects on the many ideas that he had before he moved forward with Undock — an artificial intelligence-enabled meeting platform built for the future of work. Just last year Ahmed raised a whopping $1.6 million seed round that was oversubscribed. The million-dollar question is, how did he do it? He sat down with Black Tech Green Money podcast host, Will Lucas to discuss how entrepreneurs should focus on selling their idea in just one sentence, advice for putting your idea out into the world even if it isn’t always complete, and how to know which idea is your best. “The first thing you need to do is have something really exciting about what you’re building,” shares Ahmed. “Have an exciting way to tell it to your friends, to yourself, and to future customers.” He shares that in a world filled with noise if your product isn’t exciting, it may never take off. For him, it was about figuring out how to explain what his company,...

Shanique Yates

Jan 26, 2021

Pharrell Launches Initiative to Help Black Entrepreneurs ‘Realize America’s Promise’

The last few weeks should make Pharrell fans very happy. The multi-hyphenate artist launched his Humanrace skincare line and released the gospel-music show “Voices of Fire” on Netflix, and now he is helping Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. According to ESSENCE, Williams announced Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that will support underserved entrepreneurs who are launching tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products/services startups. In addition, part of the initiative will include two competitions for investments, The Black Ambition HBCU Prize and The Black Ambition Prize. “With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources,” Williams said in a statement. He added on Instagram, “We see a future where ideas flourish, ruinous risk is diminished, and Black and Latinx entrepreneurs are positioned to realize America’s promise.”   View this...

Niki McGloster

Dec 4, 2020

The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals for Black Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for shoppers: it’s Amazon Prime Day! Starting today (Oct. 13) through Oct. 14, Amazon will offer premiere deals on home goods, electronics, apparel, dog treats—you name it. Amazon Prime members will have access to lightning deals—items available for drastically slashed prices for a limited time—while all shoppers will be able to snatch up major discounts. For Black entrepreneurs and business owners, there’s a wealth of deals to choose from, whether you need home office basics or tech gadgets. In the interest of time and how much you can save, our only suggestion is to act fast to get the perfect Amazon Prime Day deal for you! Coomaxx Adjustable Laptop Stand Your posture pays the price when you spend several hours staring down at your laptop. Prop up your device (and your posture) with a portable ergonomic notebook riser—and save 21 percent in the process. MUNBYN Label Printer This one’s for all the business owners who constantly send products...

Niki McGloster

Oct 13, 2020

Bruce Hamilton Leads a Tech Company That's On a Mission to Help Black Entrepreneurs Thrive

Bruce Hamilton is a serial entrepreneur and his current mission is to help Black creatives and entrepreneurs launch their own projects. AfroTech has covered one of his earlier startups, Doly , which helped entrepreneurs with no coding skills develop apps, but that wasn’t his first technology project. “My first venture into tech was CrwdBoost which is our social media growth platform. When we first launched, it was purely a growth tool for Instagram,” Hamilton said. In fact, CrwdBoost has done so well that Hamilton has been able to use the profits to fund his other tech projects. His latest company, Wing Zero, goes a step further by developing a variety of tools to help Black talent thrive. Wing Zero Apps continues the work they started in Doly by creating an easy and intuitive way for people with no coding knowledge to create apps. When a user subscribes to one of Wing Zero App’s premium app templates, the Wing Zero team can help them get their app running within 2-5 business days....

Colleen Williams

Sep 28, 2020

These African and African American Entrepreneurs Came Together to Build A Community in Ghana

These African and African American entrepreneurs are giving back the best way they know-how. Kofi Anku, shareholder and board member, is a mission to give back to his community through Ayi Mensah Park, a vibrant 200-unit townhouse community tucked right at the foot of the Aburi Hills in Accra, Ghana. When asked “Why Ghana?” Anku told SHOPPE BLACK that the decision was obvious. Although he was born in Ohio — to Ghanaian parents — it was imperative for him to connect the two worlds. Anku says he and his family’s vision to collaborate is what excites him the most about this project. He reveals they invested in real estate as a family back in the 90s and “were looking to connect with partners who would help them establish their vision.” He hones in on how the CEO and founder of BlackIvy, Cheryl Mills, did just that. Connecting the African diaspora is what Anku says is one of the most important missions of the community that he and his team continue to strive toward building in Ghana....

Shanique Yates

Sep 8, 2020

SheaMoisture & BROWN GIRL Jane Launch $250K Fund For Black Beauty Brands

It’s widely known that the beauty industry rarely ever caters to Black consumers and business owners, but brands and entrepreneurs across the board are working together to help shape an inclusive future. Beauty giant SheaMoisture, in partnership with BROWN GIRL Jane — a luxury, plant-based wellness collection centering the needs of dynamic women of color — has announced the launch of their joint entrepreneurship program and $250,000 investment fund to support Black-owned independent beauty and wellness brands. View this post on Instagram A post shared by SheaMoisture (@sheamoisture) According to a press release, the #BrownGirlSwap initiative was created in an effort to help Black women founders in the beauty and wellness spaces amplify their brands, receive entrepreneurial mentorship from industry veterans, and be awarded critical funding to uplift their businesses. “Our partnership with BROWN GIRL Jane comes from our shared mission to support and uplift Black-owned businesses,”...

Njera Perkins

Aug 11, 2020