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Access to capital

10 Ways Black Entrepreneurs Can Access Capital

The estimated reading time for this post is 257 seconds

Access to capital is one of the biggest challenges black entrepreneurs face.  Venture capital funding for black founders is nonexistent.  In 2022, they raised just 1% of all V.C. funds, or $2.54 billion out of $215 billion in U.S. venture capital allocated that year, according to the latest Crunchbase data.

Starting and growing a business requires significant financial resources, and without access to capital, many black entrepreneurs struggle to get their businesses off the ground.  Moreover, those who managed to launch their business found it difficult to grow and scale even though the startup solved a problem for a substantial addressable market.

This can have a significant impact on the success and longevity of these businesses, as well as on the broader economic health of the black community.  

Despite the struggle to find V.C. funding and many other structural challenges, the gap between black and white entrepreneurship continues to narrow.     

Let’s explore some of the challenges black entrepreneurs face in accessing capital and some strategies and resources that can help them overcome these barriers.

Challenges Faced by black entrepreneurs in Accessing Capital

One of the biggest challenges black entrepreneurs face in accessing capital is the historical and ongoing legacy of racial discrimination in the financial industry. 

For example, black borrowers are more likely to be denied loans or charged higher interest rates than white borrowers with similar credit profiles. This can make it difficult for black entrepreneurs to secure the funding to start or grow their businesses.

In addition to systemic discrimination, black entrepreneurs may face more practical barriers to accessing capital. For example, they may have limited personal savings or assets to use as collateral, making it more challenging to secure loans. 

They may also lack access to networks of investors and mentors who can provide financial and strategic support.

Finally, black entrepreneurs may face a lack of understanding and cultural bias from investors and lenders who may be more familiar with mainstream business models and less familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities black-owned businesses face.

Most V.C. firms are not culturally competent. A massive addressable market might not be as visible to them as it is to a black entrepreneur.

Strategies and Resources for Accessing Capital

Despite these challenges, black entrepreneurs can use several strategies and resources to access capital and overcome these barriers.

       1. Seek out alternative funding sources.

Black entrepreneurs may need to look beyond traditional banks and lenders to find funding. 

Alternative funding sources, such as crowdfunding, angel investors, and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), maybe more accessible and culturally attuned to the needs of black-owned businesses.

  1. Build strong networks 

Building a solid network of mentors, advisors, and peers can help black entrepreneurs access capital and other resources. 

This can include joining business associations, attending networking events, and seeking mentorship opportunities.

  1. Develop a strong business plan. 

A clear and well-articulated business plan is critical for securing funding from investors and lenders. 

Black entrepreneurs should take the time to develop a detailed plan that outlines their goals, strategies, and financial projections.

  1. Seek out financial education and training.

Many organizations offer entrepreneurs financial education and training programs, including those specifically designed for black-owned businesses. 

These programs can help entrepreneurs understand the financial landscape, build financial literacy, and develop the skills and knowledge needed to secure funding.

  1. Advocate for change

Black entrepreneurs can work to advocate for change at the systemic level. This can include supporting policies and initiatives that promote equitable access to capital, such as community reinvestment acts, or working to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by black-owned businesses.

  1. Apply for grants

Federal, state, local, and private grants, such as the National Black MBA Association Scale-Up Pitch Challenge and the Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition, may be available specifically for black entrepreneurs. 

  1. Consider crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo can be a great way to raise capital while building a community around your business.

  1. Participate in incubator or accelerator programs.

These programs offer mentorship, networking opportunities, and sometimes even funding. Check out programs like the Black Founders Exchange or the New Voices Fund for potential opportunities.

  1. Utilize small business loans.

 Small business loans can be an excellent option for black entrepreneurs with solid business plans and credit histories

Consider looking into programs like the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, specifically designed to help socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.

  1. Bootstrap your business

Black entrepreneurs can consider bootstrapping their businesses as a means of accessing capital. 

Bootstrapping involves using personal savings, credit cards, and other personal resources to fund the startup or growth of a business. 

While bootstrapping can be challenging, it allows entrepreneurs to maintain control over their businesses and avoid the need to give up equity to outside investors.


Access to capital is critical for black entrepreneurs.  Overcoming the barriers to accessing capital requires a combination of practical strategies and systemic change. 

By seeking out alternative funding sources, building strong networks, developing robust business plans, seeking out financial education and training, and advocating for change, black entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success and build thriving businesses that contribute to the economic health of their communities.


Senior Accounting & Finance Professional|Lifehacker|Amateur Oenophile

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