Does skin color affect your ability to fundraise?

March 19th, 2019
Statistics show that women of color rarely get funding. Tuesday March 19th, meet Amanda Johnson, the co founder of Mented Cosmetics, who raised $4 million for her line of makeup for women of color.

Luminary, NYC

Before you say it, no, it wasn’t skydiving again. I put down a chunk of money to enter into an incubator to grow LadyDrinks in a critical way.  I said to the founder on the phone, “I just gave you a third of my bank account. I’m shaking.”
She corrected me.
She said, “You didn’t ‘give’ me money. You just invested in yourself. Call someone and celebrate.”  I called a LadyDrinks member who is enrolled in a similar high achieving program for her business. I called my boyfriend and told him the news. Then I sat and stared at a wall to catch my breath.
WOMEN AND FUNDRAISING The founder of the incubator had asked me an hour’s worth of questions. One of them was ‘had I ever fundraised for LadyDrinks?”  Duh. Yes, I get up every morning and ask 5 ladies for money to help sponsor books, speakers’ fees, venues.
No, she meant real money for a national and international expansion. Gulp! No I had not, I was embarrassed to say. I got into her incubator on the grace of a scholarship. She recognized early that women of color had even less access to the kinds of resources she was offering, so she worked with corporates to ensure that women like me to could have access.
Of the $60 billion in venture capital invested the year before, Forbes reports that a paltry 2.19% went to women. Women of color got less than 0.2%. The average amount of money they’re able to raise is just $36,000 compared to $1.5m for the average white male.  And of the 15,000 women who’ve ever secured in excess of $1m, just 16 are women of color [Forbes] AMANDA JOHNSON, CO FOUNDER OF MENTED COSMETICS
One of our fireside chat speakers on March 19th is African American. She went to Harvard Business School. And to date, she and her co founder raised $4 million for her line of makeup for women of color. She has bucked all of the above assumptions and norms.
Tuesday, March 19th, we get to her speak first hand. She blew me away when I first heard her speak last year. She takes over the room with her energy. She waxes almost evangelical when she shares that the beauty counter HAS to change, because the colors that make up Americans has changed.

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