Since we launched Rani Public Relations, we’ve spoken with many small businesses who want to reach new audiences and grow their brands. During these conversations, we’ve noticed that the most common (and often the most difficult) obstacle that they face is access to capital. And it makes sense: you’ve got to spend money to make money. But it can be tough to give up your hard-earned dollars when your brand is still in its beginning stages.
Thankfully, there has been a big focus on financial support for small business in recent months, so there are now a ton of funding options for your brand: investors, crowdfunding, grants, small business loans and more. Each option has its pros and cons, so you’ll need to research each one to figure out what works best for you and your business goals.
Our mission at Rani Public Relations is to help your small business grow and thrive in all aspects, not just public relations and marketing. So today we are sharing different funding options that you can explore to help grow and scale your business. Here are six investment options that focus on brands owned by women, people of color, LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented groups.
Female Founders Fund launched in 2014 with one simple belief: women will build the companies of tomorrow. Since then, they have become the leading source of institutional capital for female founders raising seed capital with over $3B in enterprise value. Female Founders Fund has invested in many cutting-edge, women-owned brands, including Rent the Runway, Eloquii, Live Tinted, Winky Lux, Zola and many more.
BBG (Built By Girls) Ventures is an early stage fund focused on consumer startups with a female founder. They are backing a new wave of entrepreneurs who are reimagining daily life, creating market-defining products and services that make work, play and home lives simpler and better. BBG Ventures has invested in many women-focused brands, including Glamsquad, Mented Cosmetics, Rocksbox, The Wing + many more!
Cleo Capital is an early stage venture capital fund backing exceptional founders at the pre-seed & seed stages. Founded by Sarah Kunst, Cleo Capital seeks to support and invest in Black women-owned businesses that are making their mark on the world. They also share a ton of resources, events and funding opportunities for entrepreneurs to build and grow their small businesses.
Backstage Capital invests in companies led by underrepresented groups, including women, people of color and LGBTQ+ founders. They’ve invested in 150+ companies so far, and their support goes far beyond investment. They offer open office hours to provide insights and support for you and your company, and they also offer courses to teach you everything you need to know about fundraising, valuations + more.
Fearless Fund is another amazing investment option for women-owned businesses. They invest in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level or series A financing. They also have a Get Venture Ready program, a 12-month training program for WOC business owners to acquire the needed training, mentorship, knowledge and skills needed to gain access to capital.
IFundWomen is a bit different from these other investment options. IFW is a crowdfunding platform for women entrepreneurs. They provide immediate access to capital through their online fundraising experience, access to small business grants from their corporate partners, expert business coaching on all topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women who can support you in your business journey.