When it comes to securing venture capital for business ventures, there isn’t a level playing field for Black entrepreneurs. Racial disparities in the world of VC goes beyond the struggles that business owners of color have when trying to get capital for their startups. Studies show that 81 percent of venture capital firms don’t have any Black investors on their teams, and a new company is looking to change that, Tech Crunch reported.
The firm BLCK VC was launched as an avenue to increase the number of Black investors, the news outlet writes. The organization is aiming to turn 200 African-American investors to 400 over the next six years. BLCK VC has been primarily focused on areas that include New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and they hope to expand to other cities. The firm wants to cultivate a safe space for Black investors so that they can come together and develop actionable strategies to diversify the venture capital industry.
“We think of ourselves as an organization formed by black VCs for Blacks VCs to increase the representation of black investors,” Sydney Sykes, Co-founder, BLCK VC, told the news outlet. “You can look around and say ‘well, I know five black VCs,’ but you can also say this firm does not have a single black VC, they may not even have a single underrepresented minority … We want to make firms reckon with the fact that there is a racial diversity problem; there is a lack of black VCs and every firm should really care about it.” Her business partner Frederik Groce added that there’s an “incredible need to ensure there are resources in place so people don’t churn out of the community.”
Groce and Sykes join other Black entrepreneurs who are creating opportunities in the venture capital world. Entrepreneur Shelly Bell launched Black Girl Ventures to help Black women entrepreneurs gain access to VC funding and to build a network.