Last week, Next Street hosted its latest webinar – Bold Breakthroughs: Using Equity Capital and Revenue-Based Financing to Invest in Entrepreneurs of Color. The conversation built on our recently published report, The Equity Capital Gap for Entrepreneurs of Color in Chicago.
We were joined by a panel of leaders from philanthropy, equity investors, and small business to discuss how the racial equity capital gap is playing out in communities across the country, share potential solutions to closing the gap, and learn how to shift the national mindset to see investing in entrepreneurs of color as a business imperative that will drive economic growth. Learn more about our panelists here.
- Moderator: Charisse Conanan Johnson, Managing Partner, Next Street
- Kim Folsom, Co-Founder, Founders First Capital Partners, LLC
- Irma Olguin Jr., Co-Founder and CEO, Bitwise Industries
- Linnea Roberts, Founder and CEO, GingerBread Capital
- Akobe Sandy, Associate, Impact Investments, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Shuaib Siddiqui, Director, Impact Investing, Surdna Foundation
If you missed it live, be sure to check out the full recording above. Thank you to all of our panelists and audience members who shared some of these key takeaways:
People in power need to be proactive about sharing language, networks, and social capital, rather than putting the onus on entrepreneurs who may have a different background
Revenue-based financing provides entrepreneurs with flexibility and visibility because they pay back their investment based on their revenues in a specific month rather than a fixed payment
Entrepreneurs of color don’t need “too cheap” or “too aggressive” capital. They need market rate capital to reach them
How can we serve businesses at different points in their lifecycle? We need to help build pathways for entrepreneurs of color progressing from stage to stage and respond to their evolving needs
The fear of failure is real, but the idea of “failing forward” is a luxury for many entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs of color – like all entrepreneurs – should be allowed to fail
The language – and the expectations – of entrepreneurship are different for white-owned businesses and those owned by people of color. We need to honor those differences and let entrepreneurs know what the expectations are