Demystifying investing can be a hurdle for every entrepreneur and new investor. But studies continue to show that this hurdle is felt disproportionally by women of color. In 2020, digitalundivided and the Nasdaq Foundation came together to tackle this problem, leveraging their resources to advance inclusive growth and economic process for all. The result created digitalundivided X the Nasdaq Foundation’s InvestHER Power Series — a city-by-city tour, bringing together Black and Latina founders and investors.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Atlanta Regional Office Director, Nekia Hackworth Jones, stated that nearly 60% of Black women aren’t invested in anything. From a venture capital standpoint, only 2% of people of color are in the investment space. Additionally, digitalundivided’s 2022 Project Diane report cites, on the entrepreneurial side, Latina and Black women made up just 1% of all venture capital investments during 2021.
The barriers to access investing — or being invested in — deny communities of color the ability to build generational wealth and share in the wealth that the capital markets create.
In 2020, digitalundivided and the Nasdaq Foundation came together to leverage resources to advance inclusive growth and economic process for all. The result created digitalundivided X the Nasdaq Foundation’s InvestHER Power Series — a city-by-city tour, bringing together Black and Latina founders and investors.
The InvestHER Power series provides a platform for women of color entrepreneurs and investors to engage in meaningful conversations with each other, industry leaders, government and nonprofit organizations, as well as founders, about creating an ecosystem where generational wealth and economic community growth can thrive.
Why corporate and investor dollars in the startup space aren’t enough:
Rozalynn Goodwin, founder of GaBBY Bows: It’s not enough to get on the shelf if you can’t stay there. It would be best to have the capital for marketing and everything there to keep you there. I wish we could all coordinate and say, “Okay, corporations, investors, founders, how do we guide a founder through all these open doors?” Because it’s one thing to say, “Help founders.” But we don't know where to go if everybody’s opening the door and it’s not coordinated. Some people went through the open door and ended up bankrupting or losing their businesses because they couldn’t afford it.
The potential impact one investment can have on an entrepreneur’s ability to stay in business:
Jewel Burks Solomon, Investor and founder of Collab Capital: My company was acquired. That was the right thing to happen because everything else has been great since then. But the reality is that I needed to have the level of investment to grow and scale my business to the point it could be. So, the best deal I had at the time was to sell my company.
Everybody in this room can be an investor. I know many incredible entrepreneurs are in the room; they need your investment. Everybody who can be a check writer must get active. We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch and clap for the businesses making progress. We must get busy. Many more women like me have brilliant ideas and the ability to grow these businesses to the point that they’re taking them public on Nasdaq. But we must write them checks to be able to do that.
What inspired a first-time investor to begin their venture journey:
Lyvone Briggs, author and first-time investor: My idea to invest came to me because of my mentor. He teaches Black folks everything from tips to mindset shifting because sometimes, culturally, we have some baggage around money. We must deconstruct some generational trauma around money, that money is not something we work for — it is a tool that works for us. And when Black women and women of color have more money, we can get more out.
Tips for Latina and Black women who are interested in investing:
Jailan Griffiths, President of the Nasdaq Foundation and Global Head of Purpose at Nasdaq:
That’s a key takeaway today, to have a better sense of self as an investor and to know that you’re supported by such a strong group of women and role models who can help you on your way, advise and guide you on the investing journey.
Editorial Note: These quotes have been slightly modified for clarity and grammar.