The Black Girl Ventures Pitch Competition made its inaugural debut in Philadelphia at Pipeline Philly Thursday. The event offered an opportunity for Black women entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas.
The ticket proceeds went to support the winner of the event where contestants offered their best business pitches in an effort to win the grand prize of cash and a free one-on-one consultation to help jump-start their business plan.
The mission of Black Girl Ventures is to create place-based initiatives to provide access to capital for Black female entrepreneurs.
“Our mission is to use entrepreneurship support and training as a vehicle for poverty alleviation and wealth building,” said Shelly Bell, founder of Black Girl Ventures.
“Black women founders are underserved, unbanked and underfunded. It's time to change that,” added Bell.
Mumbi Dunjwa, CEO of Naturaz Hair, a beauty supply line for women with dry and coily textured hair, was one of the presenters.
“My hair, which I've always worn natural, was always a challenge to manage and it tangled a lot. Due to this I was determined to find a solution,” said Dunjwa. She said that being a part of Black Girls Ventures is a great experience.
“I did one of the pitches and the crowd was absolutely fantastic. I believe they are doing a great service for women of color who are looking to grow businesses that will make an impact in their communities and in the United States.”
Dunjwa gave advice for people who are looking to start a business but may feel they lack the necessary resources.
“If you want to start a business I would recommend you to do your homework and make sure you understand the plan you're looking to address,” she said. “Make sure you understand the market and work with community organizations that are available to help you.”
Two community organizations Dunjwa suggested were the Business Center and Enterprise Center. These resources assist business entrepreneurs of all experience levels.