Girls just wanna have funds!
...and essentially a strong foundation, too, of course.
100K Incubator doesn't just help you get in your bag, it teaches you how to get the bag for yourself, too.
Basically, it's "Business 101" for making money, while also teaching women the fundamentals of business.
Recently we spoke to 100K Incubator CEO Arielle Loren, and the business expertise (and app-ertise) offered up some valuable business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs of color.
According to Loren, who was a guest at this year's second annual Baw$e Conference, 100K Incubator is the first funding mobile app created for women that is available in both the Apple and Google App stores. The app helps women get better educated on their funding options, as well as connect established businesswomen and aspiring entrepreneurs alike to various institutions to approve them for funding.
Loren, a business strategist whose education background includes the likes of Harvard, Georgetown and NYU, decided five years ago to merge her expertise in both business and consulting and create something to educate women on not only how to get money, but on what to do once they get it.
Get it? Got it. Good!
Check out five fundamental tips from Arielle Loren, below!
"When it comes to Black women, only 0.0006% of venture capital funding went to Black women since 2009 [to] 2018. So for us, particularly as Black women and women of color, we struggle to get access to funding, and not just in the venture capital world, but also in the funding world overall -- whether that's business loans, business lines of credit, business grants, business credit cards, SBA loans from the government, etc. We really aren't connected into that world.
"At 100K Incubator, we make a very concerted effort to go after Black women and to make sure that they know we're a safe space for them to come and learn about their funding options. We also help them get connected to the right funding institution, as well as learn what to do with the capital once they have it, to be able to *scale."
(*Editor's Note: "Scale," as it pertains to business, is shorthand for "scale up," as in "To grow or expand in a proportional and usually profitable way.")
"Black women made about $24,000, more or less, in 2018, as the average annual revenue of their businesses. Now, that's compared to $143,000 for all other women-owned businesses. So if we're looking at average revenue between 2007 to 2018, it dropped for women of color from $84,000 in 2007 to $66,000 in 2018. Now that's for women of color as a whole compared to non-minority businesses, which went up $181,000 to $212,000 between 2007 to 2018.
"So when we're looking at these numbers, it's like, for non-minority businesses, their average annual revenue is going up, but for some reason, for women of color, and even more so, specifically, for Black women, our revenue is going down. So we have to ask, 'Why is that actually happening?'
"Our theory at 100K Incubator is that this decline is a combination of two things: [no] active capital to be able to scale in addition to not knowing what to do once we do have the capital to actually really grow our business."
"We tell women to come to 100K Incubator immediately, and as soon as they're ready to start their business! We found that there are a lot of entrepreneurs who just don't set their businesses up right from the beginning. The truth of the matter is, if you set it up right from the beginning, it becomes a lot easier to get access to the funding, and to be able to scale [up] later.
"So simple things, like not taking the time to put an LLC or corporation in place, or not taking the time to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) or business bank account, or not taking the time to file both your personal taxes and your business taxes. All of these things ultimately play a role, when you then, at a later date, want to come back and actually get some funding to be able to grow your business.
"In addition to that, we do have a lot of women entrepreneurs who have already passed that six-figure mark, but now they want to go to the next level. They're like, 'You know what, Arielle, I have been earning $250,000, but I'm ready to go to half a million,' or 'I've been earning half a million, now I'm ready to make my first million.' So to get to those kind of building levels, it sometimes requires a different strategy.
"We also do a lot of private consulting work to help those women really put the right sell funnel systems into place. So the 100K Incubator model works for [all] businesses at a variety of different places, but how we apply the model to your business just depends on what stage you're at, at the moment."
"I don't believe in bootstrapping (starting a business without external help or capital). I think this whole concept of, 'I'm going to take $100 and somehow get to a six-figure business,' leaves out a very large portion of the story. You can definitely start your business with a $100, but literally that $100 might buy you five products to sell.
"So what happens after you sell those five products? Well, you're definitely going to need another $100 to buy five more bottles. If you could get access to capital, you may even be able to buy 50 bottles, and then actually be able to invest in the right infrastructure to be able to sell those 50 bottles.
"So when it comes to business, it's not just about having the capital to invest in inventory; it's not just capital to invest in a website; it's not just capital to invest in advertising, or whatever is required. It's about having the capital and the plan to be able to actually get your business off the ground and establish proof of concept.
"So that's really the whole process [we partake in]. Taking women from an idea, to proof of concept, to an actual minimum six-figure business. That's what we do inside 100K Incubator."
"Women are a lot more detailed oriented, and we're less risk adverse. So, for example, women like to take into account many different factors, while oftentimes men entrepreneurs are more likely to just take the risk and ask questions later. Women don't work that way.
"The way that we're educated and the way that things are broken down, our business has to be done in a different way. As someone who has been working with women pretty much the majority of my career, because I love working with women entrepreneurs so much, I knew that the financial industry and the funding industry just wasn't speaking to us in the right way.
"I feel like that's oftentimes why there are so few of us in those spaces. So I really wanted 100 Incubator to be that bridge that really broke down all of these different funding options that are available to women, and to also teach companies how to speak to [us], how to market to us. That's really why the app was created and why we do the work that we do."
Get plenty more tips, and learn more about 100K Incubator here!
Photos by Passion Ward
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