It is a well known fact that the number of women leaders, bosses, CEO’s etc, is a fraction of the number of male leaders. To be precise, in 2019, 29% of women held senior roles globally. According to Axios Analysis the ratio between men and women in US venture capitalism is completely unbalanced. In venture firms in the US, Women take up a very small percentage – 9.65% to be exact. This is changing, very slowly however, but steadily the percentages have been rising since 2016.

Only 0.2% of Venture Capital funding was given to black women founders before 2016, as stated in Project Diane, a biennial demographic study that provides us with a snapshot of the state of black women founders in the US. Arlan Hamilton, 37, wanted to change this. She started her business from having less than nothing, even struggling to find somewhere to sleep at night.

As a gay, black woman, she knew how it felt to be underestimated and decided to become a venture capitalist, for women, people of colour, and LGBTQ founders. She is now the owner of her own boutique venture fund called Backstage Capital. 

It took a year before anyone would invest in her idea, which meant reaching out to people by knocking on doors and getting feedback on whether it was an interesting investment proposition as well as just a good cause. Once she got her first investor she was able to fulfil the promises she had made about making a change, and her company has become hugely successful. 

Now after two years, Backstage Capital has invested in 54 companies, and a it has full team of people across the country. Arlan Hamilton’s success has encouraged other women to found their own companies and step by step the numbers are rising, even if it is slowly.

Originally created and published by NowThis Her

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