Walker’s Legacy was inspired by the philanthropic legacy of Madam C. J. Walker and her cause of female economic empowerment. Continuing her design to create and cultivate generational wealth, Walker’s Legacy has an ambitious goal to ensure 10,000 Black women entrepreneurs are bankable and capital ready by 2025.
What We Know
- Bank financing is not always doled out in an equitable manner. Black women entrepreneurs do not apply for bank loans out of fear of rejection. A 2013 report from the Small Business Administration found that even when the type of business, business structure, and credit score were the same, women- and minority-owned businesses were less likely to get approved for loans.
- Investors tend to back people who look like themselves, thus the increased need to have an investment ecosystem that too looks like African Americans with a shared interested and goal of ensuring they have funding and are capital ready
- There is a somewhat double penalty, the cost is $250,000 over the lifetime of the business, more than a White male peer in start-up costs; both direct and indirect costs. This cost manifests itself in banks charging minority women a higher interest rate, and less access to team-based accelerators, which guarantees cohorts minimum funding amounts as well as access to free or subsidized professional services.
To increase access and funding to the growing number of bankable and capital ready Black female entrepreneurs, and to foster their professional success.
- To connect Black women with related products and resources for funding and financial assistance
- To educate Black women owned businesses in select markets on financial literacy, training, preparedness, recovery services and information
- To create a pipeline of positive banking relationships with national affiliates and CDFI’s
- To provide mentorship and support through a community network among Black women entrepreneurs
Technical assistance is critical, as small businesses have been hit hard over the course of the last year, impacting at least 400,000 businesses. Previous rounds of economic relief last year helped millions of small businesses stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll, yet too many minority-owned businesses found themselves at the end of the line, while larger, well-connected businesses accessed programs timely.
The focus areas for maturing services and providing the underpinning of Black Women being bankable and Capital Ready consists of the following important aspects:
- Education on SBA Financial Products
- CDFI Banking Relationship
- Collective Knowledge & Collaboration
- Outreach & Events
- Learning Management System
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