Empowering Black Women Founders: A Call to Action for Public and Private Sectors by The BOSS Network
In recognition of National Women's Small Business Month, we find ourselves at a critical juncture where our actions can make a profound impact on the lives and aspirations of Black women founders in Atlanta. The BOSS Network is proud to unveil its new research report in partnership with Sage, "Voices of Strength: Pathways to Success for Black Women Founders." This research sheds light on the unique challenges these entrepreneurs face. While we celebrate their remarkable resilience and passion, it is imperative that we step forward to provide the support they urgently need.
Access to Capital, Digitalization, and Mentorship Challenges
The report's findings reveal a stark reality: despite being the fastest-growing community of successful entrepreneurs in the US, only five percent of surveyed Black women founders in Atlanta have secured funding through business loans or venture capital funds. Additionally, only 20% are familiar with the process of applying for and receiving funding through government grants. These challenges, combined with a lack of mentorship and training in leveraging digital tools for growth, present formidable barriers.
Resilience and OptimismAmid these challenges, what stands out is the indomitable spirit of Atlanta's Black women founders. An astounding 88% of those surveyed remain optimistic about the future of their businesses. Personal and community passions drive their confidence to improve lives and make a lasting impact.
A Call to ActionAs Dr. Cameka Smith, founder of The BOSS Network, aptly puts it, "It’s through important partnerships with companies like Sage that we are able to effectively shine a light on the struggles that Black women founders face in an exponential way." It is with this spirit of partnership and purpose that we issue a call to action to companies in both the public and private sectors.
1. Join Forces with The BOSS Network:We invite companies to join hands with The BOSS Network to make a lasting impact in empowering Black women founders. By aligning with our mission, you become a catalyst for change and a beacon of support for these dynamic entrepreneurs.
2. Support the "Invest in Progress" ProgramLaunched in 2022 by Sage and The BOSS Network, the "Invest in Progress" program is dedicated to fostering a pipeline of funding, mentorship, and access to Sage technologies to help founders grow and scale their businesses. Sage has committed funding through this grant program to drive resilience and passion within this community. The BOSS Network’s goal is to raise a total of $10 million dollars over the next five years.
Tailored Support for Black Women Founders:The report's analysis reveals distinct subsets of founders—Navigators, Maintainers, and Thrivers—each with unique needs and challenges. By providing tailored support at each stage of their journey, we empower Black women founders to overcome obstacles, seize opportunities, and realize their full potential as drivers of innovation and success.
In conclusion, Atlanta's economic growth is intertwined with the success of Black entrepreneurs. By taking meaningful action, we can foster innovation and prosperity in our city and beyond. We encourage public and private sector companies to think not only about the challenges these founders face but also to actively contribute to their empowerment.
Let us make National Women's Small Business Month a turning point where our collective efforts drive change and create a more equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial landscape.
Join us in this journey of empowerment. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that Black women founders have the support they need to thrive.
Click the link to download the full report: https://www.voicesofstrengthreport.com/