Since 1997, black women-owned businesses have grown 322 percent, making them the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Yet in the past few years, Black women-owned businesses have only received .02 percent of funding, compared to the $1 million or more that white males typically raise in startup funding. What’s up with that?
The problem with funding
There clearly is not enough funding for businesses owned by black women. But one company is working hard to change this. Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels, explains her company’s goal by stating, “We need to bet on Black women and Latinas. There are enough white guys investing in other white guys–let’s get more of us investing in more of us.”
Pipeline Angels is a network of women investors that funds early-stage, for-profit social ventures. The company actually has a boot camp that trains women to become angel investors who fund for-profit, women-owned social enterprises. Pipeline Angels has invested in more than 20 companies; 21 percent of them were founded by African American women.
One company is changing the face of funding
The company’s first boot camp was in 2011. Since then, Pipeline Angels have trained more than 180 women who have invested a little over $1.7 million in more than 25 companies led by women. One startup company, for example, received a $100,000 investment from Pipeline Angels in February of this year. From fashion to food, child care to technology, many more Black and hispanic women-owned businesses are finding help from angels.