A Black entrepreneur is looking to use his business as an avenue to fund tech companies created by African-Americans, Black Enterprise reported.
Marceau Michel—creator of Black Founders Matter—is aiming to raise $10 million for visionaries of color in the tech industry. Initially, Michel’s company started off as a retail line created to inspire and empower Black entrepreneurs but his own experiences as a Black man in the tech space motivated him to take his company beyond the slogan. Michel—who hails from Haiti—founded a tech start-up called Werkhouse and ran into many issues when trying to seek capital. Instead of complaining about the racial inequalities that come with finding investors, he decided to take matters into his own hands and use Black Founders Matter as a way to give Black entrepreneurs access to venture capital.
“The initial goal was to raise funds for my startup; that’s why it was only set at $500K. However, after starting this campaign, seeing the traction it’s gained and emerging as an alternative to traditional venture funding, my sight is set much higher. I’d like to raise a $10M fund, even though it’s scary to say out loud,” he told Black Enterprise in an interview. “By raising awareness, using our supporters as walking billboards and reaching our community, I believe we can raise more than enough funds to shake up venture funding as it pertains to people of color and make them pay attention to our resourcefulness and resilience.”
Michel is also working on several other initiatives to empower Black entrepreneurs. He’s started two separate campaigns dubbed Fund Female Founders and Fund a Founder and is organizing a conference to teach Black entrepreneurs how they can make an impact in the realm of tech.
Several efforts have been made to help Black entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level. A group of Black businessmen launched Harlem Capital to invest in businesses created by at least 1,000 diverse entrepreneurs over the next two decades.