What It's Like To Be A Black, Female Entrepreneur

Anita Gardyne
Anita Gardyne, founder of Oneva

One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is finding the money to start or expand their businesses. So they often turn to investors. But not all investors are alike. In fact, not all investors are fair. Even today, there is discrimination against minority-owned small businesses, especially if they are owned by black females.

One entrepreneur's story

The discrimination seems to be particularly apparent in the technology field. Technology entrepreneur Anita Gardyne owns a technology company called Oneva. Anita is educated and experienced, but the reaction she sometimes gets from potential investors is appalling. She has been laughed at, treated rudely, been the victim of some aggressive behavior by investors, and actually referred to as "the black girl." All Anita wants is "a level playing field."

Support from the Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson is a big supporter of minority business owners getting into the tech industry. But he is also one of the first ones to admit that there is just as much if not more segregation within investors as there is within the entire technology industry. He has been trying for many years to get large technology companies like Apple and Google to diversify. As he explains, “The VC industry is even more segregated than the tech companies. You'll be hard pressed to find any people of color.”

According to a study by Babson College, only 2 percent of investors are black or Latino, and female venture capitalists has dropped from 10 down to 6 percent. Not only is there a need for more investors to support minority entrepreneurs, but there is a need for more minority investors who can understand the challenges facing minority entrepreneurs today.

For more on this story, visit www.sfgate.com/business/article/What-it-s-like-to-be-a-black-female-5938594.php
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