Shelly Bell, the founder of Black Girl Ventures Foundation, is on a mission to help Black and Brown women entrepreneurs succeed across America through an initiative called Shark Tank Kickstarter.
“I figured out the vehicle,” said Bell. “Once you can figure out the vehicle, then you can measure the impact.”
According to a report by Fundera, women in 2020 started 1821 new businesses every day and about 25% of women business owners pursue business financing. Even though 64% of companies started last year were founded by women of color, fundraising for Black women is lower than the average entrepreneur.
As the pandemic continues to loom across America, Black businesses struggle to keep their doors open. That’s when Bell comes in. Black Girl Ventures helps support Black entrepreneurs with access to community networking, financial capital, and the ability to hire.
With a teaching background and extensive knowledge of IP Strategy, she launched an art organization that hosted poetry events. Bell went on to start her own t-shirt company, where she tried to sell 2000 shirts at a women’s empowerment meeting.
During this time, Bell learned that funding was not accessible to Black women entrepreneurs. She wanted to change this for Black women and future generations. Then, Shark Tank Kickstarter was born.
“‘Just do it’ is more than a mantra. It’s a way of life,” she said. “My story of what I have built with Black Girl Ventures is the epitome of ‘just do it.’”
“It would be hard for someone to believe that a woman who had a child at 17 and another child at 21 graduates and becomes a computer scientist but doesn’t work for a tech company but rather a school system, works multiple kinds of jobs, and then one day grows a multimillion-dollar nonprofit, is going to change the world,” she concluded.
To find out more information about the organization by visiting their official website.