A $10K Investment From Her Mother’s Retirement Fund Helped This Entrepreneur Kickstart Her Career

A $10K Investment From Her Mother’s Retirement Fund Helped This Entrepreneur Kickstart Her Career

Black Girl Ventures Founder and CEO Shelly Omílàdé Bell recently shared how she has supported over 450 Black and Brown business owners with their companies.

Bell spoke during AfroTech Executive D.C. about how a $10,000 investment from her mom’s retirement fund helped kickstart her career journey in helping her make investments for other entrepreneurs. 

Bell supports many entrepreneurs through her nonprofit by hosting crowdfunding pitch competitions. Bell said her BGV Style pitch competition is the “largest pitch competition globally for Black/Brown women founders,” and such competitions allow businesses to have access to capital.

Entrepreneur Crystal Lugo recently took home the “Pull Up and Pitch” grand prize of $25,000 to invest in her business, B & C Gloves, at the 2023 Something in the Water Festival. Bell partnered with Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition initiative at this year’s competition, and Anwuli Eyewear founder, Nwamaka Ngoddy, took home the grand prize of $5,000 at the Atlanta Pull Up & Pitch competition, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported in March 2022.

On May 2, 2023, TikTok announced its $1 million donation to BGV in recognition of National Small Business Week. “We are investing $1 million in Black Girl Ventures to support Black and Brown women and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs,” the press statement said.

“In order to launch a business, you have to be creative. TikTok is a place where small business owners get to claim their lion’s share of the market without barriers,” Bell said. “In a world where women and people of color are constantly pushing against societal norms that don’t always welcome them with open arms, it is imperative to have platforms that allow you to flex your authenticity, gain access to new networks, and grow your business on your own terms.”

The entrepreneur recently shared the release of her new book, Originate, Motivate, Innovate: 7 Steps for Building a Billion Dollar Network, on social media, where she unboxed for over 25,000 Instagram followers to witness how she is continuing to extend her knowledge for the growth of business owners.


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BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported that Bell kicked off 2022 with a partnership with the NBA to launch the BGV NextGen Program and support the business plans of 25 students.