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She Was Homeless. Now She Runs a $25 Million Investment Fund for Women of Color. Fearless Fund cofounder Arian Simone knows firsthand how hard it is for women of color to raise money. So after many setbacks and reinventions, she transformed herself into the solution she'd been looking for.

By Liz Brody

This story appears in the October 2021 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Fearless Fund

In college, Arian Simone launched a clothing boutique in a mall in Jacksonville, Florida — but when she went to raise capital for it, she realized there were very few people to pitch who looked like her. "I was sitting on the floor before the grand opening," she recalls. "And I said, "Arian, don't you worry, because one day you're going to be the business investor you were looking for.' "

It took nearly two decades, seven months of homelessness, and a few reinventions, but she kept that promise to herself. Simone cofounded the Fearless Fund, the first investment fund run by women of color for women of color. Now it's a $25 million to $30 million fund with a portfolio of early-­stage companies, recently landing a $1 million investment from Costco Wholesale as well as a fundraising partnership with Mastercard. Simone has also developed the Fearless Foundation, which distributed more than $200,000 in business grants during the pandemic, plus a weeklong event called Fearless Venture Capital Week, which debuted in August.

Related: The Black Female Funding Gap and Those Who Are Changing the Tide

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