There's a new alliance in Philadelphia focused on helping women of color develop, grow and fund their entrepreneurial ventures.
"Black women are starting businesses at six times the national average yet receiving less than 1% of venture capital," says Shelly Bell.
Bell recognized the problem. The entrepreneur's solution? Create a network, and access to funding. Thus, Black Girl Ventures was born in 2016.
On Thursday the Philadelphia chapter was launched.
"I believe that we need to give the power back to the people. If we can incubate business, empower them, inspire them and give them resources; they can do the work on the ground in our cities," says Bell.
Peach Brown of Wayne has applied for a patent for her business Sledge Scarves which eradicates a problem of keeping your scarf secure while sleeping.
Joining Black Girl Ventures is a way for her to continue growing generational wealth for her 3-year-old son Kevin.
"When he sees mommy working on her own business he sees he can do it too," says Brown.
"Everything that you see here is crocheted by myself or one of my daughters," says Erica Martinez-Ivory.
She retired at 40. Now she's running her family-owned "Princess Crochet Boutique" in West Philadelphia. She's joined Black Girl Ventures to gain skills and grow her business.
"They're giving you their secrets on how their business is succeeding so that your business can succeed," says Martinez-Ivory.
Black Girl Ventures will host a crowd-funded pitch competition where local small business owners can win funding for their ventures.
For more details on Black Girl Ventures visit: https://www.blackgirlventures.org/philadelphia
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