After an investor told Kathryn Finney that he doesn’t “do black women,” the digital entrepreneur chose to take action rather than get upset.
Finney, founder of the widely successful blog, The Budget Fashionista, created digitalundivided (DID) in 2013. The goal of DID is to empower black and Latina women who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs. Through networking, training, and funding opportunities, DID is impacting economic growth as well as these women’s personal success stories.
Finney, an honors graduate of Yale University and Rutgers University, was named one of the most influential women in tech by Inc. Magazine. Additionally, Finney is a White House Champion of Change and a prior member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Since DID was founded four years ago, it has assisted more than 2,000 women and has helped raise a whopping $25 million in investments.
In an interview with Madame Noire, Finney explains why DID is important:
“Women of color, specifically Black and Latina women, are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States, creating over 80 percent of the new women-led small businesses since 2007. Yet, Black women-led startups receive less than .2 percent of all venture funding. Moreover, the average Black women-led startup raises $36,000, while the average (mostly) white male failed startup raises $1.3 million. We found that this is caused by three things: lack of network, training, and funding specifically for diverse women founders. digitalundivided bridges this digital divide by offering all three to Black and Latina women founders.”
Working in a predominantly white male field, Finney says that years ago, “diversity” wasn’t even a buzzword in the industry yet.
“There’s definitely more work that needs to be done,” she says. “Beyond paying lip service to the issue, we need more stakeholders to put their money where their mouth is. Nothing explains the need for diversity in tech better than showing the success of these diverse companies, especially when funded and when provided support and resources.”