Announcing the 10 Finalists of the Raise Round-Up Competition!

To address funding disparities that impact women of color owned businesses, Mom Your Business and Zenith Wealth Partners, in partnership with WOMEN’S WAY, are hosting The Raise Roundup, a local pitch competition that will award a total of $150,000 to early-stage, Philadelphia metro-based, black and brown female founders who have the ambition to scale! The Raise Roundup represents a commitment to developing Philadelphia’s ecosystem of women-owned businesses by showcasing, inspiring, and investing in Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial community for women of color. The Competition will take place on December 15th from 4-6 pm at the Fitler Club.

The 10 finalists include:

  • Grant Blvd, Kimberly McGlonn
  • Philly Experiences, Chrissy Watts
  • Birdseye Media, Cassie Haynes
  • Sledge Scarves, Ashley Brown
  • Tribaja, Shannon Morales
  • Empact Data Solutions, Monique Curry-Mims
  • Bright Ventures, Lenore Champagne Beirne
  • Win Win, Nikisha Bailey
  • Trapezium Math, Angela McIver
  • Melt for Men/Honey Blowout, Carla Clarkson

Businesses owned by women of color are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy but face major barriers due to system challenges including access to capital and disparities in revenue. For one, statistics show that less than one percent of all venture capital goes to businesses owned by women of color. Even further, data from the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Small Business Credit Survey (SBCS) show that Black-owned businesses are less likely to receive approval for financing and are more likely to be discouraged from applying for funding. Even further, businesses owned by women of color usually pay higher interest rates and are often denied loans from traditional banks, the study confirmed.

“The Raise Roundup not only speaks to the capital Black & Brown female entrepreneurs need to grow their business, but also how collaboration, and working together around issues we care about can make a difference in our region. I am grateful for WOMEN’S WAY and Zenith Wealth Partners and their commitment to changing the narrative around equity and entrepreneurship.”- Tanya Morris, founder of MomYourBusiness, an accelerator for women of color-owned businesses.

The competition will serve as a critical learning ground to better understand the challenges that women of color entrepreneurs encounter in efforts of dismantling the systemic barriers they face. Over 50 applications were received from applicants across the 5-county region, demonstrating that the needs of Black and Brown women entrepreneurs are urgent. While there will be winners, the competition will look to engage and support all applicants through a larger fund and educational effort following the competition.

Investing in women and women of color-owned businesses is essential to address gender and racial wealth gaps. Through intentional investment, buyers and funders have the power to challenge these gaps and equitably distribute dollars to create structural change.