‘Shortage of VC funding, not of black entrepreneurs’

Startup Grind, Monique Woodward, black entrepreneurs

The US has no shortage of black entrepreneurs. The shortage rather is one of funding for black entrepreneurs, says Monique Woodard of 500 Startups.

Woodard, speaking at Startup Grind Cape Town last week Friday as part of a fireside chat, made the statement in response to a question from an audience member who asked why there was a shortage of black entrepreneurs.

“So, I don’t think there’s… comparatively, in the space… there’s not a huge shortage of black entrepreneurs. There’s a shortage of black entrepreneurs getting VC funding,” Woodard told the audience.

The 500 Startups representative and Black Founders co-founder expanded on the topic.

Monique Woodard of 500 Startups says that funding for black entrepreneurs is a key issue

“And you can talk about lots of things related to that. You can talk about access to networks, which is really important. You can talk about investor bias, which is also a factor… I’ve definitely seen the number of black entrepreneurs growing. Black and Latino women happen to be the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the US…” Woodard added.

“So those numbers are growing exponentially. There is no shortage but there is a shortage of those founders getting access to funding, and I think part of that is the way that venture capital funds look. If you go to the pages of a venture capital fund and you look at it, most of those people are like, older white men.”

Woodard added that she could “sit here and tell you all of the black men in venture capital, all of the black women in venture capital, and it wouldn’t take very long”.

Update: Corrected spelling of Monique Woodard’s name.

Hadlee Simons


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