As the world waivers in economic uncertainty, Black women still have the courage and audacity to bet on themselves. Black women are one of the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs and business owners in the country, but their ideas and ventures are historically financially underfunded. A 2018 report conducted by American Express found that women-owned businesses grew 58% from 2007 to 2018, but the number of companies owned by Black women grew three times that rate by 164%. Black women are also the only racial group who own more businesses than their male counterparts, Forbes says. With all of that girl-powered leadership, one would assume that money follows the ingenuity—but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Only 2% of venture capital investment dollars went towards women-owned businesses in total in 2018 and that percentage dwindles to .2% when just looking at businesses owned by women of color.

            In an effort to bridge this funding gap, Pine-Sol and ESSENCE teamed up to celebrate and uplift Black women in business with the “Build Your Legacy” contest. One lucky Black female entrepreneur will be awarded a $100,000 grant to support her small business endeavors. The contest kicked off in March, with entrepreneurs from across America sending in videos explaining who they are, what they do, and how the $100,000 grant would help support their businesses. ESSENCE and Pine-Sol will select three semi-finalists in May from the submissions and share their videos with the world. Voting for the winner will be open to the public June 1st-July 1st.  The grand prize winner will be announced on July 4th.

            The “Build Your Legacy” program is a part of Pine-Sol’s commitment to supporting the lasting legacy of Black women in their homes and in their communities. Pine-Sol’s powerful and trusted heritage ties back to generations of use and trust, and this goes beyond cleaning and disinfecting—it’s about engaging in the everyday lives of modern Black women to provide a strong foundation for generational wealth. In a time where Black female entrepreneurship is on the rise, Pine-Sol is dedicated to investing back into the women who are the backbone of Black culture and our collective advancement as a people.

            Build Your Legacy invites women from all over the country to discuss the way Black female trendsetters, innovators, and influencers have inspired them to create legacies that serve their families and communities. For more info, head to www.essence.com/yourlegacy.

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