Black-Owned Business Gets Unexpected Funding From QuickBooks

QuickBooks, a top-ranked accounting software developed by Intuit, is known for helping small and medium-sized business owners manage their financial flow with their sophisticated products. New businesses track over $2 trillion through the platform annually. Now the company is helping entrepreneurs even more.

Through a recently launched funding initiative, Backed by QuickBooks, entrepreneurs are given access to financial resources that will help them turn their business dreams into reality.

No application is required or available. The Backed by QuickBooks team scours crowdfunding websites for the most compelling business ideas and promotional campaigns.

When the QuickBooks team discovered Pound Cake, a minority-owned makeup brand that focuses on diverse skin tones, they followed their Indiegogo campaign for a couple of days to see if the business would reach its $20K funding goals.

Seeing that Pound Cake hadn’t met its goal on the last day of the campaign, Backed by QuickBooks came to the rescue and made sure the campaign was fully funded.

I caught up with the founders of Pound Cake, Camille Bell and Jonathan Velazquez, to discuss the impact of disrupting traditional beauty standards through their campaign and being a recipient of the Backed by QuickBooks funding initiative.

Photo Credit: Khanya Brann (@Khanyabrann)


How did you find out about Backed by QuickBooks crowdfunding initiatives?

Pound Cake: We were sitting down on our laptops trying to reach out to everyone and anyone we could think of to try to get as close to our goal as possible. We were just hoping that we would meet our campaign goals so that more people could have access to quality makeup products.

With only 5 hours remaining in the campaign, we started drafting “thank you” letters to all of our supporters to tell them we didn’t reach the goals.

Before the letter was finalized, we received an email notification that we weren’t expecting. Our campaign had been fully funded, courtesy of Backed by QuickBooks.

All we remember is jumping up and down screaming as we read more about the ways in which Backed by QuickBooks was surprising business owners on crowdfunding sites by giving them funding and resources to get their business up and running.

What does becoming a recipient of the funds mean to you?

It means a lot that a reputable company like QuickBooks saw our message and wanted to invest in us, especially during a time when others did not believe in us or our mission. QuickBooks embraced our uniqueness and gave us the resources we needed to rise. In addition to receiving a monetary contribution, we were invited to the QuickBooks Connect conference so that we could connect with other entrepreneurs and develop the skills needed to grow our company.

As a minority-owned company, we don’t get the same amount of funding as our white counterparts. I read a startling statistic that stated that only 0.2% of black women receive venture capital funding. I couldn’t believe that. This number really shows the magnitude of what QuickBooks is doing to help business owners from all types of backgrounds to thrive. It’s a clear sign that more doors are opening for people who look like us.

What is your advice to other entrepreneurs who are seeking funding to live out their dreams?

Pound Cake: I always tell people that it’s important to stay true to your values. We are a “pro-black, pro-fat, and pro-trans feminist cosmetics company.” There were people who recommended that we remove our pro-black message in order to attract more sponsors. But we refused to separate from our values.

When you start changing one thing in order to fit into someone else’s idea of how your vision should look, then you are more inclined to start changing your language, customer base, and everything else that make your brand so unique. Then you look up and realize that your original message has been diluted and is unrecognizable.