Two black entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley have found that the major hurdle for black-led startups actually getting started is funding. Werk Horse founder Marceau Michel and Kathryn Brown, founder of ScoutSavvy, want to do something to change that.
With only 1% of venture-backed firms being led by black founders, Michel and Brown have established Black Founders Matter which has the simple goal of raising $10 million for startups led by black people.
“A lot of lip service is given to diversity and inclusion but the actual practicability of it lacks,” Michel told TechCrunch. “If there’s a brick wall that is standing between minorities and their dreams as entrepreneurs, how can we help the regular person help us in dismantling the wall between us and our dreams?”
Part of the answer to that question comes in “Black Founders Matter” t-shirts, which cost from $50 to $70. The duo plans to sell enough t-shirts to save $10 million that they will then funnel into black startups. To date, nearly $10,000 worth of t-shirts have been sold.
“What we’re trying to do is create something I think the whole world needs,” Michel said. “I’m not just trying to solve a problem for black people, but for everyone.”