Although Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country, they still run into many obstacles when seeking capital for their business ventures. Entrepreneur Shelly Bell is looking to change that through her company Black Girl Ventures, Forbes reported.
Throughout her career Bell has been a fierce advocate for people from underrepresented groups, the news outlet writes. She leads two printing companies one of which has an all-woman team of designers and printers who develop products for major tech companies. Her other venture—dubbed Made by a Black Woman—is an e-commerce digital platform that features products created by women of color. Inspired to take her mission of empowering Black women further, she launched Black Girl Ventures in 2016 as an avenue to align Black businesswomen with opportunities to secure capital.
Through her business, she provides an array of different services that are all designed to help women elevate their businesses. She hosts networking events, boot camps, and pitch competitions where winners receive funds from the admission fees and land meetings with investors. In the future, she hopes to help Latinx women as well.
“We realized on top of access to capital, Black and Brown women also want access to new networks,” Bell told Forbes. “In my opinion social capital is the move. Even if you get access to capital, if you don’t have the network or team or people around you to help you manage it or give you ideas on how to grow or scale, you can only get to a certain point.” Bell—who is a part of the LGBTQIA community—believes that there is power in inclusivity and wants BGV to be a safe space for people from all walks of life.
Ever since BGV launched two years ago, she has helped 13 entrepreneurs fund their businesses and hopes to help many others bring their dreams to fruition.