My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Pitching

How to Redefine the Pitch Competition for Black and Brown Female Founders

Shelly Bell is disrupting pitch competitions by bringing capital directly to underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Guest Writer
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a door-to-door saleswoman in college, Shelly Bell learned how to convince potential customers to buy something they already had in their homes: vacuum cleaners. Today, Bell says that experience laid the foundation for her success as a serial entrepreneur and founder of Black Girl Ventures. 

Several years ago, Bell realized that entrepreneurship was a key to unlocking generational wealth building for African Americans and that by helping minority-owned businesses grow, new employment opportunities would also open for others in the community. However, she knew that the traditional fundraising models weren’t created with black and brown women in mind and often directly excludes them.

“If we peel back the layers, what we’ll see is that the financial capital is really coming from people knowing each other,” says Bell. 

With Black Girl Ventures, Bell has found the nexus of financial capital and social capital: pitch competitions that are entirely community-driven. “Connections are what really bring the money. At Black Girl Ventures pitch competitions around the U.S., the audience connects directly with the entrepreneurs: they contribute the cash for the top prize, select the winner, and, often, serve as mentors for the competitors. 

Alice’s best resources for building your network here. Alice’s best resources to help you prep for a pitch competition here.

Related: How One Founder Breaks Free From Statistics and Labels

More From Women Entrepreneur

Success Strategies

Here's How This Entrepreneur Manages Her Team of One

Robyn Young works with a freelance team when she needs design help, but mostly relies on her own talents to build her business.
Disruption

How This HR Technology Executive Became a Champion for Disadvantaged Teens Through Her Disruptive Actions

Brenda Reid left one business to channel her inner entrepreneur and lead the global HR technology landscape at PwC.
Ready For Anything

Why This Entrepreneur Stuck With Her Startup Even When Her Employees Told Her to Quit

Jennifer Simons discusses a critical moment in her life when she decided whether she would follow the traditional post-college route or expand her business.
Lessons

Why Your Employees Should Support You and Challenge You at the Same Time

This vegan foods founder celebrates her reliable and enthusiastic employees.

More from Entrepreneur

Kim's expertise can help you become a strong leader, pitch VCs for capital, and develop a growth strategy.
In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur