Fintech platform EnrichHER has launched an ambitious project to increase capital and visibility for underestimated founders.
The Atlanta-based firm has kicked off a brand-new initiative – All Rise Factory – to help women and minority-owned startups achieve their next-level goals. Eight dynamic companies have been handpicked for the inaugural cohort. The objective is to leverage the power of the collective community to fund these firms via loans, donations, or investment.
It comes amid a growing trend for New Majority founders to explore alternative options to raise capital for their ventures. Since its inception in 2017, EnrichHER has been disrupting traditional models through its innovative credit model, lending environment, and other creative opportunities.
“Every time I can help a women-led or Black-owned business succeed, I believe that I’m fulfilling my purpose,” says Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, the CEO and founder of EnrichHER. “I believe that providing capital for women-led and Black-owned businesses provides economic empowerment and inclusive economic growth, as well as increases equality overall,” she adds.
“As the number of sustainable women-led and Black-owned businesses increases, society as a whole will benefit from inclusive job growth, as well as products and services that better reflect the input of all people.”
All Rise Factory was birthed out of Novellus’s concern for small businesses impacted by Covid-19. Data reveals female-led and black-owned businesses have been particularly susceptible given the lack of funding and support they receive from the onset.
This led Novellus to question what EnrichHER can do to help. “How could we support all kinds of businesses, not just startups, and not just tech companies? Did our existing funding model need tweaking? After months of work, I am ready to unveil All Rise Factory, our new program for funders who want to support vetted New Majority founders whose businesses are underinvested,” says Novellus.
As part of the pivot, EnrichHER is spearheading an innovative social media campaign to mobilize people to support black-owned and women-led businesses. They are asking that people offer as little as $97, which they might spend on inessential items and instead put that money towards one of the businesses in the newly launched All Rise Factory cohort.
Novellus believes that the work EnrichHER is doing is both crucial and beneficial. “Once more diverse groups of people have larger roles in the economies of our communities, we will be able to build a society that is more reflective of our needs, desires, and aspirations,” says Novellus.
Novellus also stresses the detrimental consequences of inequity. “A refusal to listen to the experiences of women, Black people, and other people of color has created a financial system that is passed off as a meritocracy, but actually only serves to perpetuate pre-existing privilege. Greater economic freedom means greater access to social power.”
However, she is optimistic and ambitious about the longterm goals of EnrichHER’s All Rise Factory to support 500+ companies to access more than $50 million. “I want to support businesses with Black or women founders, CEOs, and leaders,” says Novellus. “And to make funding those businesses accessible for all kinds of investors, not just the wealthy.” Novellus sees the larger impact her organization can have on demographics that have been for too long depreciated in the world of investment, stating “when one of us rises, we can all rise.”
Indeed, it is widely known that black and women-led businesses go largely underfunded and under-supported. EnrichHER is dedicated to changing that by helping these companies receive the attention and funding they need.
According to CNBC, in venture capital, men still get the lion’s share of funding; while according to Pitchbook, only 2% of capital goes to U.S.-based female-only founder teams. Of the 2%, women of color get only a fraction. EnrichHER is on a mission to change these statistics with their All Rise Factory Program.
Donate here today to fund the inaugural cohort of #AllRiseFactory.
Main Image: Dr. Roshawnna Novellus, the CEO and founder of EnrichHER (Courtesy of EnrichHER)