Updated: Mar 25
In early 2021, Nike announced its partnership with Black Girl Ventures. The collaboration would provide funds for brown and Black women-identifying founders. As a result, they would have the opportunity to access a capacity building, capital, and community, while supporting entrepreneurship.
In 2016, Shelly Bell founded Black Girl Ventures. In doing so, more Black and brown women have the chance to scale tech-based ventures.
Before this undertaking, she left the mark of a successful entrepreneur. She successfully created a graphic design and web development business.
According to The Philadelphia Citizen, Bell used her tax returns and $5,000 from her mother.
A lot of women struggle with ways they can raise capital for their business.
Many Black and Brown women depend on personal savings, since they don’t have family money to finance their startups.
Research carried out by Project Diane reveals between 2018 and 2019, Black women founders received .27% of cumulative venture funds.
When starting, Black Girl Venture’s focused on the crowdfunded pitch and bridging this gap. Presently, the organization has successfully funded 76 Brown and Black women entrepreneurs.
Moreover, the team has served over 170 participants in the more than 25 Black Girl Ventures Pitch Programs it hosted.
Speaking on how they helped a company, Bell said Black Girl Ventures launched its first pitch competition in the beauty industry.
They collaborated with Rare Beauty Brands, which saw Ultabeauty.com come aboard. Kim Roxie of Lamik Beauty from Houston emerged as the winner. She would have the opportunity to sell her beauty products on Ultabeauty.com.
“We are saying hey, we support you, we’re behind you, and if no one else is going to fund you, we will,” said Bell to The Philadelphia Citizen.
Nike has partnered with the female-led nonprofit to expand its initiative.
Black Girl Venture partners with Nike
During the NBA’s All-Star Weekend on 7th March 2021, Bell hosted a panel. The event took place at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Her pursuit will put Black Girl’s Venture initiatives in the limelight. It’s part of Nike’s “Giveback Sunday.” Nike is out recognizing foundations that help women and the underrepresented in communities.