Editor’s Note: This piece is part of an ongoing series on female entrepreneurs of color. Read more here.
Female minority entrepreneurs face significant roadblocks in their startup journeys, lack of funding, lack of connectivity and lack of opportunity chief among them. Important discussions about these issues are happening every day, but it takes more than talk to solve a problem.
That is why we’re taking some time to spotlight organizations that are working hard to make a difference. Below are just a few of the many great institutions trying to tackle these pressing issues.
Read on to learn more about their amazing work, and to find out how you can get involved in creating a better future for women business owners of color.
Mission: “To increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in technology.”
How? Formed in 2011, Black Founders tackles the ongoing lack of black engagement in the tech business community with hackathons, conferences, funding initiatives and more. Through this multi-pronged effort, the organization’s leaders — a four-person team of experienced black (and mostly female) tech founders — hope to improve the industry’s pipeline for members of underserved communities. Gatherings are held in multiple locations throughout the U.S., including San Francisco, Atlanta and New York City.
Mission: “To promote, develop and support the rapid growth of Latina business owners, professionals and their families.”
How? Fifteen women, inspired by the growth and strength of the Latina entrepreneurial community, banded together in May of 2003 to form the NLBWA. Over time, the organization has helped many Latina women by connecting them with mentors, offering networking opportunities and advocating on their behalf. It was founded in Los Angeles, but there are chapters throughout the country.
Mission: “To address issues affecting Asian-Americans on the corporate level.”
How? AWIB is the only nonprofit in the country that exists specifically to support Asian female entrepreneurs. Since its founding in 1995, the organization has reportedly helped over 40,000 women in this community through a combination of scholarship programs, inclusion-focused task forces, conferences and more. Its headquarters, as well as many of its events, are in New York City.
Mission: To “help out-of-the-box entrepreneurs transform cool ideas into great businesses.”
How? A business accelerator is a sort of boot camp for budding entrepreneurs hoping to turn their inspiration into actual ventures. The San Francisco-based accelerator NewME has offered that sort of opportunity specifically to women and minorities since its founding in 2011. The organization also hosts interactive Q&A sessions, small group coaching sessions, and even boasts discounts on items and services that a budding business owner may need.
Mission: To create a forum for people who are “concerned with minority and women business enterprise development.”
How? Since 1984, MBE Magazine has endeavored to inform, educate and inspire its readership through topical news coverage, in-depth analyses and profiles that elevate often-overlooked business owners. Much of its content is available only to subscribers, but free magazine previews, video content and an events calendar are available on its website.