Being the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. is known for creating companies that possess impact at their core. These five women of color discuss why they chose the city to help lead the charge in each of their professional career journeys.
Ebony Pope, the director of US Ventures at Village Capital, is a huge proponent of the fund’s location due to the types of entrepreneurs that surface from the city. Village Capital’s goal is to find and train entrepreneurs, solving critical and global issues and Pope says D.C. is the place to do it.
“DC’s proximity to the Department of Education, Energy, Agriculture and the government entities addressing some of our nation’s most critical problems provides a great foundation as the launching pad for impact companies,” Pope told the Washington, D.C. Economic Partnership.
Janice Omadeke is CEO and founder of the Mentor Method, a social enterprise that provides curated mentor matches. The company’s aim is to connect the next generation of tech leaders with change-making mentors seeking to increase their diversity numbers at their respective companies.
“DC’s impact network has helped me grow and scale my business. The supportive community has given me a platform and direct access to resources [and] is fueling growth,” stated Omadeke to WDCEP.
Shelly Bell, the CEO and founder of Black Girl Vision, a national network for professional and entrepreneurial women dedicated to connecting women of color to access to funding and social capital, is in the process of transitioning the company to Black Girl Ventures and champions D.C. when it comes to impact.
“Washington D.C. is great for impact companies because as the nation’s capital we are the hub of America’s human experience. I believe that the majority of people in the Washington, D.C. metro area realize that while change is not easy it is the only necessary constant in our society,” said Bell to WDCEP.
Marla Blow, CEO of FS Card, a company that leverages advanced analytical techniques, sustainable product design, and behavioral incentives to offer a scalable unsecured credit product in a market, is enthralled by the fact that D.C. is communal and that she has access to a plethora of resources.
“As an entrepreneur, I’m privileged to work in a community where the creative juices are always flowing and you have the support you need at your fingertips. Offices like the District’s Economic Development Team and local tech incubators like Halcyon and 1776 have been our local champions every step of the way. DC also boasts enthusiastic private and public capital partners—all of which have been critical for my growing fintech company. The unique access to policymakers and thought leaders is only possible in our nation’s capital; and this, coupled with the diverse and vibrant local culture, make DC a great place to work and live,” Blow explained to WDCEP.
Jan Baker, managing director of Impact Hub D.C., an inclusive co-working and events space for a member-based community of social entrepreneurs, activists, and creatives is all about the inclusivity that D.C. brings to the table.
“Washington, D.C. is the gateway to inclusive entrepreneurship that fosters a tight-knit community of impactful changemakers focused on creating equitable systems that create a better city for a better world,” Baker stated.
Thinking about starting or joining a social impact, tech company? D.C. might be the place for you.