Good news for all those women creatives out there! On Thursday, SheaMoisture haircare and skincare products founder Richelieu Dennis announced a $100 million fund for women entrepreneurs of color at the 2018 Essence Festival. The announcement surrounds the New Voices Fund that he’s been prepping for the past year.
Through the New Voice Fund, Dennis says they have already invested or committed to over $30 million in black women entrepreneurs, Black Enterprise reports. When Dennis sold SheaMoisture back in 2017, he vowed as part of the deal that he would use the money to create an investment fund for minority entrepreneurs, specifically women of color.
In addition to creating the fund to provide investment opportunities, Dennis wants to equip entrepreneurs with other resources to help contribute to the success of their companies.
“We are going to leverage the businesses that we’ve built—many of you know, Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, Madame CJ Walker,” he said.
Dennis is going beyond providing investment opportunities with the fund by giving women access to resources to boost the success of their companies. Women entrepreneurs of color are an underserved group, receiving less than 3 percent of venture capital dollars in 2018, despite black female founders starting businesses at higher rates than any other group.
The New Voices Fund provides a way for women of color entrepreneurs to approach Dennis for capital infusion. Because of the parameters of the fund, he is likely looking at businesses that are looking to scale and not just an idea on a sheet of paper.
All of the information is located on the site. If you think you’re ready, log on and apply.
New Voices FundRichelieu Dennis