As the business world catches up to the fact that the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs are Black women, there’s a chance for a new conversation about how best to serve them. 

“We have to fight for ourselves, and we have to build for ourselves,” said Reign Ventures CEO Monique Idlett-Mosley during a recent panel about how Black women can gain access to capital. “So, create your own table.”

Idlett-Mosley joined 1863 Ventures Managing Partner Melissa Bradley and Backstage Capital Founder Arlan Hamilton for a conversation at Essence Festival’s E-Suite with moderator and Goldman Sachs partner Margaret Anadu.

Onlookers at the most recent E Suite panel discussions held during Essence Festival.

The growth of Black women entrepreneurs “creates an opportunity to change the narrative of what’s happening,” Bradley said. “That gap has not allowed for a different conversation.” 

Black women, Hamilton said, are often “plagued” with having to waste time on explaining how they got to the room before they can even get down the business of what brought them there in the first place.

That makes Black women finding ways to empower each other in those spaces even more important, even if that’s supporting small, black-owned businesses in your own communities. 

“Black women, especially if they’re not getting what they need from somewhere,” Hamilton said, “they will find a way.”

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