August’s Black Business Month: 5 Ways Black Entrepreneurs Can Get Funding
PROBLEM: Due to racism, inequality and lack of historical precedence, Black entrepreneurs often struggle to get venture capitalist support — making it hard for African Americans to launch big tech and consumer businesses.
SOLUTION: Millionaire Black investor Tay Sweat, (who has mentored 6,000+ in Black and Brown communities across the country to financial freedom) shares 5 tips on how Black entrepreneurs can sidestep inequality and racism to get venture capitalist support.
August is Black Business Month. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. is home to roughly 2.5 million Black-owned businesses. Yet, the vast majority of Black business owners are sole proprietorships or small-scale affairs. (Nearly 40 percent of black-owned businesses are in social assistance, repair and maintenance, laundry services, barbershops and auto dealerships industries. Only a small handful of Black businesses offer consumer tech products or healthcare, in part, because Black Americans have historically lacked access to venture funding.
Tay Sweat, self-made Black investor, millionaire and founder of Secure The Bag With Tay, is offering 5 tips for Black Americans to secure funding and investors to start large scale businesses:
1) Learn The Stock Market: Can’t get anyone to fund you? Fund yourself! Read books, take an online class to learn the Stock Market. You may still eventually need angel investors, but you can fund your first entrepreneurial step yourself.
2) Build Your Support System: One of the biggest challenges that black entrepreneurs face, they often don’t have the support system or precedent that a non-minority business owner might have. Reach out to the 20 most successful people you know, befriend them. When it comes time to ask for financial support, it won’t feel like an estranged relationship.
3) Invest In Yourself: If you don’t have a built-in support network, make one, even if you have to buy it. Join online classes, networking events, Black associations, really, anything that is going to get you in front of others in your niche or community. (Even if these efforts cost you, consider it an investment in yourself and ultimately, your business).
4) Crowd-fund it: Don’t just post your business to a crowdfunding page and hope for the best. Market your idea– and apply to include it on a designated support “Black Owned Businesses” sub-page, like this Support Black Businesses page on gofundme.com
5) Look For Nonprofits: Runway Capital and Collab Capital and EnrichHer are just a few of the non-profit organizations funding and loaning to Black entrepreneurs. There are dozens, make sure to apply.