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‘At First, I Was Begging Investors’: How This 26-Year-Old Entrepreneur Became One of the Youngest Black Women to Raise Over $1M In Pre-Seed Funding

Amira Rasool was like many young entrepreneurs. She needed funding to get her business off the ground. In Rasool’s case it was for a fashion venture. But Rasool’s story has a slight twist. In the process of raising funds, the 26-year-old has become the youngest Black woman to raise over $1 million in pre-seed funding for her brand — The Folklore Group.

Amira Rasool, founder of The Folklore Group (image from amirarasool.com)

With the The Folklore Group, the Gen Y businesswoman merged her passion for African culture and a knack for spotting a profitable idea. And, she put it all into a solid corporate proposal— strong enough to attract investors who were willing to fund her dream.

Rasool raised $1.7 million in April in a pre-seed funding round led by Slauson & Co. and in the process became one of less than 200 Black women entrepreneurs to amass over seven figures in venture funding for any kind of business, reported Inc.

Rasool, who launched her company The Folklore in 2017, also became one of the youngest African-American women to achieve such a milestone. “Seed funding is typically lower than series funding, with startups averaging $500,000 in seed funding,” Crunchbase describes.

She didn’t achieve this goal on her own. Rasool says after going at it from a grassroots, bootstrapping strategy for four years and not achieving her goal, she linked with Techstars’ accelerator program. The program taught her skills and gave her the tools to approach investors with a confident pitch.

The New Yorker said, “At first, I was kind of begging investors to be a part of my company. Then I realized, wait — this is an opportunity for them, too.” 

It was an opportunity that investors like WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike leaped on, especially after Rasool shared ideas to expand the e-commerce platform, which became popular because it provides consumers an opportunity to buy fashion and lifestyle products from Africa and the diaspora, to include a new B2B wholesale e-commerce platform called The Folklore Connect.

Read full story at Finurah here.

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