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$100 Million Fund From Shea Moisture Aims to Support Black Women Entrepreneurs

During the 2018 ESSENCE Festival last July, Shea Moisture founder Richelieu Dennis announced the official launch of the $100 million New Voices Fund. It aims to provide monetary resources for existing and aspiring women of color entrepreneurs.

The New Voices Fund will provide women entrepreneurs with access to a global network, financial resources, as well as free educational tools to ensure that their business is profitable and successful.

The fund is specifically designed to help women of color who are finding it hard to access funding. Dennis said in a press release, "The facts about investments in women of color entrepreneurs, particularly Black women, are astonishing."

"Entrepreneurship among women of color has increased 322%, but only 0.2% of those women receive access to the funding needed to sustain and grow their businesses. Black women raised just 0.0006% of the total $424.7 billion in tech venture funding since 2009. This is unacceptable. It is why the Fund is focused on making equity investments and creating an ecosystem that empowers women of color entrepreneurs to reach their full potential by addressing three of the most pertinent issues preventing their long-term success – access, capital, expertise," he added.

Established in 2017, the program has already invested $30 million to eight companies so far. Women of color entrepreneurs are still encouraged to join and apply for funding or other resources through