While 2021 was a record-breaking year for investment in startups with over $137 billion invested in the first quarter of the year, the disturbing news is that only 1.2 percent of that total went to Black entrepreneurs, and only two percent went to women-founded companies, according to Crunchbase, an online database of companies and startups.
Black businesses are often unable to grow and scale due to a lack of early-stage capital. Due to the long-standing racial wealth gap, most Black entrepreneurs do not have the opportunity to call on wealthy friends and family. The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership believes that financial literacy 3.0 must include educating Black professionals on how their investments can make a difference for Black entrepreneurs through angel investing.
Angel investments are often the precursor to obtaining venture funding to help a company on the grow-scale-exit trajectory. As capital constraint remains a significant barrier for Black founders, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) is addressing the disparity and lack of access to capital through an innovative program, the Making of Black Angels, according to a press release.
IFEL co-founder and chief executive officer Jill Johnson, creator of the Making of Black Angels, stated, “The Black community is missing an opportunity to participate in this wealth-building asset class that opens the flow of early-stage capital to Black entrepreneurs. There is no better time than now to catalyze a new generation of Black investors and make a life-changing impact on Black-owned business enterprises.”
Beginning May 11, 2022, IFEL is hosting a three-part educational series on angel investing. Attendees will learn how the angel investing process works, hear insights from existing investors and gain a deeper understanding of how diversity among the investor pool translates to access to capital for Black entrepreneurs. This is an opportunity to learn about an asset class that has for too long been the exclusive domain of a select few. The goal of the program is to introduce a broader group of people to a new wealth-building tool.
For more information or to enroll, visit makingblackangels.org.
In recent years, the amount of angel capital going to women founders has increased with an increase in the number of women angel investors. The Making of Black Angels movement believes this model works. With an increase in inclusion within the angel investing sector more Black entrepreneurs can garner angel investment. IFEL’s targeted approach provides a model for expanding resources to other historically excluded populations as well.
The Making of Black Angels program is made possible by generous funding from JPMorgan Chase.