So what does a rising entrepreneur look like today? Not the image portrayed in most media outlets.
As we celebrate women’s history this month, I am reminded of all of the achievements of successful women around the globe. Today there are women breaking ground in industries once dominated by men.
Our cover star Felecia Hatcher is one of those women who are leading the way during a season of change in the entrepreneurial landscape in America. When I called her up to chat on an afternoon in February, I couldn’t help but admire the fierceness in which she advocates for what she wants – to even the playing field.
While women are a driving force behind new successful companies on the scene, Black women are launching companies in droves. So why aren’t we getting funded? I would be remiss if I didn’t note that its only been 28 years since legislation eliminated state laws that required women to have a male relative cosign a business loan. That’s not that long ago. So while things are progressing, it’s moving at the speed of a leaky, dripping faucet. It’s obvious the problem has many complexities and visibility is just a slice of it. In a 2013 article for Forbes, CEO Lisa Nicole Bell of Inspired Life Media Group named mindset, one-woman businesses that aren’t scalable and pitching problems all as reasons.
This year digitalundivided released their #ProjectDiane report, a proprietary research study about the state of Black women in tech entrepreneurship in the United States. They studied more than 88 startups led by Black women founders. One of the many startling reveals is that Black women startup founders raise $36,000 on average, while the average (mostly white male-led) failed startup raises $1.3 million.
When I asked Hatcher about the current state of Black women in tech, you can hear the disappointment in her voice: “God, we are so far behind.” But thanks to women like Hatcher, Kathryn Finney, Angela Benton and a host of other Black women entrepreneurs, the conversation is changing. Their work pushes women of color to the forefront, not only by shining a light on what needs to change, but by creating opportunities for their fellow entrepreneurs to find funding, publicity and the access to the basic necessities startups need to survive.
Talk to me! You know the drill. I want to hear about some of the needs you have to make your startup flourish. You can always hit me up here or by tagging @lionessmagazine in your social media conversations. Until next time,
Be great and ROCK the day,