The Black Women’s Million Funding Club Is Cool, But The Ecosystem Says Aim Higher

A few listicles of Black women founders with $1 million or more in venture backing were published last week. While these roundups are a great acknowledgment of a statistically difficult feat for Black founders, the Black tech and entrepreneurial ecosystem has become more critical of these small wins that seem to air with the caveat of, “pretty good, for a Black founder.” 

Perhaps the day will arrive when a Black woman founder gaining a $1 million in venture capital investments is no longer worthy of a listicle because multi-million dollar deals will have become so commonplace. 

Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. 

A record-breaking $147 billion in venture dollars have been invested in U.S. startups during the first half of the year. Of that money, only 1.2 percent, or $1.8 billion has gone to Black founders. Further, only 0.34 percent of that funding went to Black women founders specifically, amounting to $494 million, a $10 million lead on what Black women raised in all of 2020. 

“As an ecosystem that’s accelerating, we should be embarrassed if this continues. It’s just not good enough,” Eloho Omame, cofounder of FirstCheck Africa, a women-focused angel investment firm, said., 

The Plug will continue its focus on Black founders, funders and the changing investment environment, as there is a bit more to celebrate. 

Further reading on Black women founders: 

Monica Melton

Monica Melton is the managing editor of The Plug Insights. She previously covered innovation, technology, and venture capital at Forbes. She has also covered politics at POLITICO, entertainment for Time Out New York, but her most fascinating beat has been covering the intersection of technology, finance, and entrepreneurship. She is an alumna of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Washington.