Black women entrepreneurs receive more support as Visa announces a new program to distribute $100,000 in grants to U.S.-based Black women-led businesses as part of their newest series of initiatives to help small businesses, Forbes reports.
Grant recipients will be able to receive mentorship from private coaches, educational resources, access to a network of women business owners, and an annual membership for IFundWomen, a platform that provides funding and coaching to women-owned businesses.
The grant program will give out ten $10,000 grants via iFundWomen with a goal to close the funding gap for Black women entrepreneur recipients.
“The $10,000 is not a random number,” says Suzan Kereere, Visa’s global head of merchant sales and acquiring. “For many entrepreneurs, when they look for seed funding or funding to go from proof of concept to launch, the sweet spot is about $10,000. The $8,000 to $14,000 range is the amount of capital you need to get an ordinary small business off the ground. One of the reasons so few businesses make it into the venture capital stage is the majority will need about that much capital to get started. We’ve got to give them the kind of capacity and elasticity they need that works at the scale the majority live in.”
Forbes reports that Black women entrepreneurs are the leading groups of people who start businesses, but Black businesses have suffered the most from the detrimental effects of COVID-19 with a 41 percent drop in active business owners between February and April, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
Outside of the grant program, Visa and iFundWomen are teaming up to provide women-led businesses with numerous resources including business coaching and a series of on-demand videos to sharpen pitches and content, Visa shares.