Black women are thriving in the realm of entrepreneurship despite the obstacles they face when it comes to securing capital for their business ventures. Research shows that although less than one percent of Black women entrepreneurs receive venture capital funding, they are the fastest-growing group of business owners in the country. Hair care entrepreneur Muhga Eltigani is one of the many female founders making power moves in business. According to Inc., the NaturAll Club founder recently became one of about 50 Black women in the country to raise $1 million in funding.
Eltigani founded NaturAll Club in 2015. The natural hair care subscription platform delivers fresh handmade hair products on a monthly basis. Some of the products include Fresh Avocado Deep Conditioner, Jamaican Black Castor Oil Growth Serum, and a handmade flaxseed gel. Last year Eltigani won $500,000 in a startup competition but decided to turn down the prize because it would have required her to move her Philadelphia-based company to Buffalo, New York. She wanted to wait for an opportunity that was in alignment with her brand.
Her patience paid off and she received an investment from New Voices Fund CEO Richelieu Dennis. Dennis initially made a $1 million investment and after plans for Eltigani’s company grew, he decided to invest another $4 million. Dennis is dedicated to ensuring that women of color entrepreneurs have access to venture capital funding. “The facts about investments in women of color entrepreneurs, particularly black women, are astonishing,” Dennis told the news outlet. “Entrepreneurship among women of color has increased more than 320 percent, but less than 1 percent of those women receive access to the funding needed to sustain and grow their businesses. This is unacceptable.”
Several individuals are stepping up to address the funding gap for Black women. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam teamed up with entrepreneur Arian Simone to launch the Fearless Fund; a $5 million venture capital fund to support startups created by women of color.