“Making it” as a startup is difficult, even for seasoned entrepreneurs. But for companies with female or minority leaders, gaining access to critical capital has been a barrier to entry that has long stifled growth.
EnrichHER’s founder and CEO Dr. Roshawnna Novellus knew this reality all too well, but also saw the funding gap widening as COVID-related shutdowns started in March.
“When the pandemic hit, I immediately became concerned about how Black-owned and women-led businesses would be impacted,” Novellus said in a statement.
“We’re already underfunded and under supported, so how could we navigate this ongoing instability?”
Novellus saw an opportunity to provide essential funding to companies traditionally overlooked by investors. EnrichHER’s financing platform makes it possible for individuals — not just large VCs — to invest what they can into companies ready to grow.
All seven companies selected for the All Rise Factory Cohort are women, Black, or minority-owned businesses that have at least $150,000 in revenue and have been operating for at least a year.
Members can choose to invest, donate or loan capital to one of the seven companies in the All Rise Factory Cohort. Membership begins at $97, and members are given access to training courses surrounding investment opportunities to ensure that they are getting the most out of their funding prior to allocating their money.
All Rise Factory’s new cohort represents companies in healthcare, retail and financial services industries. This gives EnrichHER members more opportunities to fund companies they are passionate about.
Of the first seven companies selected, three are headquartered in the Southeast. They include:
18:21 (Atlanta, Georgia)
Born out of Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse of 2014, founders Missy Koefod and Kristin Koefod started 18:21 Bitters to bring quality cocktail ingredients, syrups and tinctures to a wider audience. Now their products can be found in 48 states, six countries, and at their retail location in Ponce City Market.
Freeman Capital (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Founded by Calvin Williams, Jr., Freeman Capital is looking to close the generational wealth gap by providing accessible financial planning and investing help to those traditionally lacking access to wealth management tools.
Lillii RNB (Atlanta, Georgia)
As a boutique, Black-woman-led IT consulting firm, Lillii RNB helps clients address point of sale (POS), merchandising and supply chain issues. Founded by Barbara Jones, the company also specializes in helping retail companies with big data analytics and fraud prevention, and is certified to help large retail customers implement Oracle’s X-Store POS system.
Other companies selected for the cohort hail from Texas, DC and Nebraska. To date, EnrichHER has already helped raise $3 Million for 71 companies, and was part of Techstars’ 2019 remote class.
You can learn more about each company’s business model and growth strategy here.