Small businesses need three things to survive and grow: capital, networks, and expertise. That is exactly what Monique Woodard is providing as a venture partner through 500 Startups — a $25 million dollar microfund established to make early stage investments in businesses owned by Blacks and Latinos.
Monique, who is also the co-founder of Black Founders, a national organization started in 2011 to help black entrepreneurs find funding, will lead the new microfund. The goal of the fund is to raise $25 million to invest in black- and Latino-owned businesses. “This is a two-sided investing strategy,” said Woodard. “On one side, you have Black and Latino founders who are undercapitalized and there are great deals to be made. On the other side, you have a population that over-indexes in many areas of technology consumption, increased consumer purchasing power, and an increase in the US Spanish-speaking population. This is making Black and Latino consumers a market that investors should be paying attention to.”
Black buying power to surpass $1 trillion dollars
Businesses owned by blacks in particular is a growing market. According to The Atlantic, Black buying power is expected to reach $1.2 trillion this year, and $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.
Monique’s background certainly qualifies her for the job of leading the new $25 million microfund. Monique is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups investing in black and Latino entrepreneurs. She is the co-founder of Black Founders — a national community of entrepreneurs whose mission is to increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in tech. Previously, she was one of the first Innovation Fellows for the City of San Francisco and has helped cities use technology to innovate workforce and other civic services. She also understands small businesses, having more than 15 years of entrepreneur experience herself.
For more details about the Black Founders organization, visit www.BlackFounders.com
For more details about Monique Woodard, visit www.MoniqueWoodard.com