“Motivational, informative, invigorating, motivating, awesome and inspirational” – is how eight business “founders” described the DTCC-sponsored digitalundivided’s START program in November.
To help female entrepreneurs of color turn their early-stage business ideas into reality, DTCC sponsored the program, which ran from the 2nd to 22nd of November. START is aimed at helping women of color grow their entrepreneurial mindsets across industries, such as interior design, media, beauty, real estate and more.
DTCC recognizes that Black and Latino women face increased obstacles when seeking to launch a business. While people of color represent 38% of the U.S. population, they account for only 19% of entrepreneurs, according to U.S. Census data. This disparity is due, in part, to the unique challenges faced by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.
According to the Global Center for Policy Solutions, the gap in business creation amongst people of color results in the loss of an estimated 9 million jobs and $300 billion in income potential across the U.S. annually.
In order recruit participants for this program DTCC reached out to partner organizations in the New York City area who serve tens of thousands of small business owners, students, and young adults. The program started with 13 participants and eight of the participants completed the program.
The START Program
START workshops allow business founders to collaborate with and gain invaluable advice from other entrepreneurs. These workshops guide new entrepreneurs through the initial steps of upstarting a business using the Lean Startup methodology, which is a way for potential business owners to streamline the development process, while gauging whether a proposed business model will be successful.
Through the program, START founders obtain assistance from experienced facilitators and entrepreneurial mentors who have a strong understanding of Black and Latinx business owner business startup challenges. Entrepreneurs leave the program equipped with essential resources they need to take their businesses to the next level.
START helps women of color founders focus on the factors most essential to becoming a self-sustaining venture. In addition, the program helps founders create a community of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who can share experiences and navigate business growth in a cohort setting.
Program Feedback and Results
The business founders who participated in the DTCC-sponsored program found it to be beneficial. In fact, all of the program's participants said they would recommend it to another founder. In addition, 95% of participants strongly agreed that the program helped reduce or remove barriers faced in starting or expanding their businesses.
Based on pre-program and post-program survey data, the founders who graduated, reported:
- An 85% increase in confidence pitching their business to an audience.
- A 90% increase in familiarity with Lean Startup methodologies and the Business Model Canvas.
- A 70% increase in insight into the next steps for their businesses.
DTCC is proud to have sponsored the program and look forward to future partnerships that support the growth of Black and Latinx communities.
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