When we're thriving everyone around us thrives.
It changes their lives and it changes communities.
It changes our culture, too.
Entrepreneurship is a critical path, and sometimes the only path, for Black women to develop thriving livelihoods and this fund was created to help support just that.
Entrepreneurship doesn't have to look like large-scale corporations, or dozens of employees, or overwhelm and exhaustion. It can look like you at your kitchen table, or art studio, or computer building yourself a life on your terms. And as a matter of fact, this is where most of us who decide to go down the road of entrepreneurship begin: with ourselves, with very little or next to no capital, and a whole lot of dreams.
Black women starting smaller-scale, earlier-stage businesses are disproportionately denied by banks the access the capital we need to help our businesses succeed in the long run. Even when we are starting out small, we still need and deserve financial investments that will plant seeds of growth in us and in our businesses.
The Black Women Changing The Game Business Fund is for Black women who run very early-stage, start-up businesses that fall outside of the traditional funding model.
The idea is to flip the traditional business investment model - which is mostly based on individualism, exclusion, and inequality - to an investment model that is steeped in community, inclusion, and generosity.
The Criteria isn't complicated
I don't like complicated, so this isn't. The whole idea behind this fund is to keep it as accessible as possible, so if you meet the criteria below, then you are welcome to fill out an application.
- You've been in business for at least one year.
- You operate in the United States.
- You are able to answer the question of how you would use the money in your business
- Are Black woman-owned (duh!)
- You can commit to participating in two community calls
This Is Different Because It Has To Be
We have to change the way we invest in each other. We have to change the way we find value in one another...even in business. Most of the time if you apply for any type of funding for your business, it is a top-down decision. Meaning, a third party looks at your application (usually a white man) and decides if you and your business are worthy of receiving money.
That's not how this fund operates.
Instead, fund recipients will be decided by the women contributing to the fund and the women applying to be recipients of the fund. Profound trust and collective responsibility is the hallmark of this project.
How this looks:
- 20 applications for potential funding will be accepted
- The 20 applicants will then be shortlisted to a final 10 top applicants by the women contributing to the fund.
- The final 10 top applicants, as decided by the contributors, will then make the final decision as to who will be receiving the 4 gifts of $2500 to invest in their businesses.
August & September: Applications open for 20 Black women business owners to apply.
October: Top 10 businesses selected by contributors.
October & November: Top 10 finalists notified, finalists have their community call, and second round of votes takes place.
Early December: Fund recipients announced, money distributed, and recipient wrap up call takes place.
Ready To Apply?
Applications for The Black Women Changing The Game Business Fund will open in August 2018 and only 20 applications will be accepted. If you're interested in applying, please fill out the form below and you'll be notified when applications open.
A Little FAQ
Is This a Loan?
Nope. This is a contribution to you and your business. No strings attached and no gimmicks. Those involved in this project believe in giving and receiving without a required return.
Why Only Twenty Applicants?
This project is run by just me and to contain the overwhelm that may happen, I needed to make sure it is manageable. Of course, I hope to expand in the future.