According to available data, Black women receive very little startup funding despite being one of the fastest-growing demographics of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Less than 1% of the total venture capital funding doled out since 2009 went to Black female entrepreneurs. In addition, almost half of the loan applications are not approved by banks.
To help bridge the funding gap, Sistahbiz Global Network founder Makisha Boothe introduced the Sistahbiz Loan Fund earlier this year. It is the first small business loan fund dedicated to Black female entrepreneurs. The fund will provide loans of $500-$50,000 with an interest rate ranging from 7-11%. It is open to business owners in Colorado who gave undergone Sistahbiz’s training programs or received personal counseling from Boothe. Based on her own experiences, Boothe said Black women entrepreneurs face unique challenges in accessing capital funding. These include discriminatory lending practices and these women’s lack of collateral and smaller business network. Black women also face psychological barriers to entry because of the trauma of exclusion, discrimination and belittlement. She believes that while the loan fund will be very important to Black women entrepreneurs, there is a long way to go to achieve equality for Black female business owners.