Dr. Rashae Barnes, a prominent advocate for diversity and equity in the business world, has announced the establishment of National Black Funding Day on September 30th. This holiday aims to recognize and honor the accomplishments of black entrepreneurs in the funding industry throughout the United States while highlighting the disparities in venture capital, grants, and educational resources for underserved communities, particularly black and minority-owned businesses. The day will also serve as a call to action for large corporations and businesses to make donations to black founders and their organizations across the board.
For decades, black entrepreneurs have struggled to secure funding, especially from venture capitalists. Studies show that they receive less than 2% of overall dollars each year, while women of color receive even less. Structural racism and power imbalances contribute to discriminatory financial practices that hinder the growth of minority-owned businesses. In response to these challenges, Dr. Barnes believes that National Black Funding Day is necessary to address these issues and create a more equitable and inclusive funding landscape.
Dr. Barnes stated, “We need to educate the masses on the disparities in funding across the board and provide resources to help underserved communities secure funding for their businesses. We also need to celebrate the strides made thus far for black founders across the country.”
The establishment of National Black Funding Day coincides with the efforts of many firms to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion following the racial justice reckoning of 2020. While black entrepreneurs saw historic gains in securing VC funding in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, adverse market conditions in 2022 led to a 45% decrease in financing for black-owned businesses.
National Black Funding Day will be observed on September 30th each year, and Dr. Barnes hopes that it will become an annual tradition. The day will include educational events, fundraising efforts, and celebrations of black entrepreneurship and innovation. On this day, large corporations and businesses are encouraged to make donations to black founders and their organizations across the board while celebrating the strides made thus far for black founders across the country. This is an opportunity to show support for black entrepreneurs and help address the disparities they face in the funding industry.