Black Girl Ventures Foundation
Our mission is to provide Black/Brown woman-identifying founders with access to community, capital, and capacity building in order to meet business milestones that lead to economic advancement through entrepreneurship. We ignite civic engagement and hyperlocal infrastructure for entrepreneurs at the intersection of business support services, supplier diversity, and social and financial capital. We execute our mission through Amplify BGV, which is our portfolio of professional development and fundraising programs. Our signature program, BGV Pitch, is a pitch competition that combines crowdfunding and pitching to support Black/Brown women founders (think Kickstarter meets Shark Tank). Pitch participants also join our 6-week JetPack Curriculum to develop strategies for increasing revenue and hiring at least one additional employee. Additionally, participants receive 6 months of corporate mentoring as well as access to the BGV Supplier Diversity Program.
Black Girl Ventures (BGV) was founded in 2016 by serial entrepreneur, artist and author, Shelly Bell. The premise was simple: Black and Brown women are not getting access to capital for their business, so let’s get them access and capital. The first event was called “Eat, Pitch, Vote” and about 30 women showed up ready to support one another with deliberate intentions of growing their businesses. Since then, we've helped our founders raise over $600K through crowdfunding.
BGV works diligently to directly address the unique challenges Black/Brown women founders face, which are access to capital, access to community, and ability to expand capacity. BGV matches founders with the right investors and customers, energizes a community with ideas, and mobilizes supportive local ecosystems. BGV has developed, tested, and codified infrastructure and programming to communicate, measure, and drive results. Further, components of the Amplify BGV program are designed to help our community deal with stress, depression, and mental health while navigating business and professional challenges post COVID19. Amplify BGV delivers weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual events and programming aimed to provide community engagement, leadership development, entrepreneurial development, and access to capital. Additionally, by empowering change leaders across five local ecosystems to assist in delivering local training options means we amplify women leaders and increase their reach through intentional placemaking initiatives. As a result, we exponentially grow the entrepreneurial knowledge, technical skill sets, and sustainability of black and brown Founders across ecosystems.