arian simone
Arian Simone, president and CEO of Fearless Fund. | Photo: Fearless Fund / Facebook

On a mission to help hidden gems sparkle, four organizations have joined forces to help underrepresented founders grow their startups into the businesses of their dreams.

Fearless Fund, The Cru, the Tory Burch Foundation and Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women announced an incoming class of 150 women of color-led businesses selected for a recent grant program.

The partnership consists of Fearless Fund, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm founded by and focused on women of color, The Cru, a peer mentoring platform for mid-career women, the Tory Burch Foundation for women entrepreneurs and the Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women initiative. Together, their $2 million grant was distributed across the program’s recipients, with members receiving checks ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. 

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“It has always been imperative to support underrepresented founders in this way, but now more than ever is when they need the funding the most due to the uncertainty that was left after the pandemic,” Arian Simone, president and CEO of Fearless Fund, told Built In via email. “Many of these founders had to rebuild their businesses from the ground up and have had to bootstrap their way to rebuilding their businesses. Grant funding like this adds that extra support to help them with whatever they need to get their businesses back going.” 

In addition to capital, the program also provided businesses with access to community and through The Cru’s network, inviting founders into a diverse circle of their peers. This aspect was geared toward helping businesses realize their intentions based on their demographics, goals, personality and values. Program participants were also granted access to peer coaching services.

The program’s participants spanned several categories. Several of them operate within sectors like hospitality, tech, food and beverage, health and wellness and education. These founders hail from across the country as the program consisted of women from 25 states and Washington, D.C. Some of the grant recipients include names like 3rd Party Virtual Assistance, deVINE Plantery, Beautiful Curly Me and Sweet Details.

“The tech industry is only growing at an exponential rate. With the addition of these businesses, the tech world will continue to diversify and create space for those who are making an interesting change in the space,” Simone said.

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