Three Advantages To Investing In Women Of Color — Cynthia Plouché

I recently read an article published in Forbes, titled Three Advantages To Investing In Women Of Color, by Michelle King. The article highlights the challenges women of color face and the institutional biases that exist in corporate America. As a woman of color myself, I understood the points being covered in the article. Having founded the Alzenia Project, and co-founded a firm early in my career, this article resonated with me further.

Inherent and systemic biases have hindered the success of many Black-owned businesses. Women of color are often faced with numerous obstacles when starting a business, particularly in finding investors. The article highlights the New Voices Fund, a $100 million fund, that invests exclusively in businesses owned or managed by women of color, including start-ups, established businesses, and community-based enterprises.

The Forbes piece outlines three (of the many) advantages of investing in women of color. Investing in women-owned businesses will increase job creation, reduce unemployment rates, and promote individual and community empowerment and financial health.

Female entrepreneurs often hire other women or people of color, providing more access to jobs while also providing opportunities for skill development, labor pipeline supply, and increasing overall employment levels. We are once more reminded that funding for small businesses is essential and drives economic growth and sustainability for the whole country.

Access to capital and financial inclusion leads to financial strength, personal empowerment, increased generational wealth, and stronger communities. By creating a community of women business owners and increasing the number of Black women-led businesses, multiple barriers can be broken down and provide wide-ranging support for this ecosystem.

“There are many institutional biases that women of color face. When we think of an entrepreneur or someone who’s successful and powerful, we don’t often envision a woman of color. That inherent bias really creates critical hurdles.”

“To overcome these challenges, Sundial Brands Founder, CEO, and Executive Chairman Richelieu Dennis, founded the New Voices Fund. “Given that women-owned businesses (that receive venture funding) outperform their male peers by as much as 63%, investing in women entrepreneurs makes good business sense.””

“As a community of women entrepreneurs, we can be stronger and find solutions to our challenges. We can develop expertise, combine our talents, and speak to the world with a louder voice.”

Read the full article here.

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Cynthia R. Plouché is the founder and CEO of The Alzenia Project, a nonprofit organization that leverages the impact of other nonprofits to help young women of color achieve personal and professional growth. Along with her devotion to advancing diversity, Cynthia is also an inspiring business leader. She has a successful career in investment management, including more than 10 years as co-founder and chief investment officer of a woman-owned firm and culminating in ongoing corporate board leadership within the mutual fund industry.

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