Keshia Knight Pulliam is throwing her support to black female entrepreneurs by starting a venture capital fund.
She teamed up with Arian Simone, who’s also an entrepreneur and wrote the books “My Fabulous & Fearless Journey: From Homeless to Hollywood” and “Fearless Faith + Hustle: 21 Day Devotional Journey.”
The venture capital fund has been named the “Fearless Fund,” and the women launched it with $5 million to help close the disparities between black women and others trying to get their business funded.
“We’ve been busy!! Only 2% of Venture Capital Investors are African American & less than 1% are women,” wrote Knight Pulliam August 20 on Instagram. “We decided to be a part of the solution by investing in our community!! I am so excited to announce that @Ariansimone & I have started The Fearless Fund. A fund for us by us!”
“Our mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies. Follow our journey,” she added.
So far the Fearless Fund, which caters to pre-seed, seed and Series A startups, has backed Ellis Island Tea, described as an all-natural, antioxidant-rich hibiscus tea on the company’s website. They’re also working with Activvely, a fitness app that pairs people with others to work out.
Plus the women have partnered with EnrichHER, a company that “Connects revenue-generating women-led companies seeking up to $250,000 with accredited, non-accredited or institutional lenders.”
“We wanted to start small, that was with intention,” said Simone in a statement. “We want to prove great returns for our investors. I started as an entrepreneur in college, raising funds for my retail store. I was only 21 but I promised myself that one day, Arian, you’re going to be that investor you’re looking for.”
After news surfaced of the Fearless Fund, a lot of Knight Pulliam’s fans said they were thankful for her efforts, as well as impressed.
“Do it, achieve it, be it… Much love,” one person wrote on Instagram. “It’s exactly what our women of color need to motivate them, imitate you, be successful like you. Live long, always prosper. You’ve got it Ladies😘”
“I am so happy to see this!” a second person commented. “I am a single mother of seven and for the last year I have been trying to get funding and investors for my food truck business which has been virtually impossible. Maybe more will see and follow suit.”