Black Female Founder Voices on Creating Generational Wealth
Capital One Business and Female Founder Collective elevate Black female founder voices on creating generational wealth and more
The number of Black female founders who have raised more than $1M in funding for their businesses has nearly tripled since 2018, according to Fortune. Black female business owners are a critical part of our business ecosystem. But strong financial headwinds from the pandemic threaten to derail the significant progress of Black female entrepreneurship over the last several years.
One silver lining of the pandemic has been the increased focus on championing small businesses. At the same time, the racial justice movement has generated a call of support for Black-owned businesses and an influx of corporate grants geared toward Black entrepreneurs. The lived experience of a Black female founder today is undoubtedly unique—and one to be lifted up. Black women don’t just look at their businesses as a job, they look at their businesses as an opportunity to create wealth and to pay it forward.
That’s why Capital One and the Female Founder Collective convened a panel of three dynamic Black entrepreneurs, during Black History Month, to lift up, celebrate, and learn from the experiences of these resilient women:
- Danyel Surrency Jones, founder of Powerhandz, an athletic training and rehabilitation products company
- Krystal Duhaney, founder of Milky Mama, a business offering all-natural lactation treats
- Lalah Delia, founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, an online wellness space for women
Read on for their perspectives and insights around a range of topics, including how to get started as a business owner, the power of cultivating a community and fostering a network, the importance of self-care and mental health, and creating generational wealth.
Embracing Empowerment as the First Step in Starting A Business
All three of the entrepreneurs recall their quest to find the confidence and empowerment that’s required in the early days of starting a business. Lalah Delia, founder of Vibrate Higher Daily, says, "This was such a huge part of me not stepping forward before. I didn't feel like I was strong enough to do it, and so the only thing that literally gave me power was to do it — even with the fear of making mistakes, making failures. So my best advice is to fail your way into empowerment.”
Danyel Surrency Jones, founder of Powerhandz, agrees. She says, “When I think about my journey as an entrepreneur, I had no clue that I was going to be an entrepreneur. It was only afterwards that I realized that I was developing all these different skills to be an entrepreneur and run my own business, ever since I had that lemonade stand at five years old.”
She explains that the path to becoming a successful businesswoman will always start and end with the woman herself. “Over and over again, when I lose my confidence, I have to validate myself and be my biggest cheerleader in order for me to feel empowered.”
Krystal Duhaney, founder of Milky Mama, also underscores the critical importance of self-talk and affirmations. She says, “When I started my business, I second-guessed myself constantly. Why do I deserve to be successful? I really downplayed my dreams.”
Things finally started to pick up for her when she shifted her perspective and started asking different questions. “I had to take that initiative and really instill that confidence in myself to realize—why don't I deserve to be successful? Why does someone else deserve to be successful and not me?”
Starting as an Entrepreneur and Creating Generational Wealth
Systemic barriers often make it difficult to build generational wealth within the Black community.
Duhaney says, “When I started my business, I didn't have capital, I didn't have investors, I didn't have a family that came from money that could invest all this money to get me started. So I really had to find out ways to be smarter with money and to bootstrap it. I really started with my initial investment of $300 from my personal savings account.” She had to learn the highs and lows of managing her own money, never taking out a loan, and always reading the fine print of interest rates.
Jones agrees, and goes on to emphasize the impact of Capital One and the Female Founder Collective on small businesses. “When it comes to what society can do right when we talk about building wealth and you're seeing it today, I really think that’s what Capital One and Female Founder Collective are doing. When we're able to help our small businesses rise, that's how our economy rises. When we invest back in the community from an innovative standpoint, we earn, we learn, and then we can return our knowledge to others.”
In the same vein of growing wealth, Delia brings up an important, yet often unacknowledged point—individual money stories. “I know that we all have a different money story growing up and that's going to be challenged when you become an entrepreneur. Our money stories are important when we bring our wellness into the conversation of finance. I had to work to reprogram my subconscious mind into believing I'm worth every penny that I make, because you just show up at the table more confident when you believe you're worth it.”
Balancing Business Ownership with Self-Care
Finding balance is key for entrepreneurs, and though the path to get there may vary with every individual, the end goal is the same—finding mental and physical peace in the chaos of life. On the subject of self-care, Duhaney says, “I'll be completely transparent, I have never been as stressed out and overwhelmed until I started a business.” She notes that as she changed, her needs changed, and she had to learn the hard way that taking care of yourself is taking care of your business. “Even if you're in the middle of a meeting, take a minute, because it will come back to bite you. Your business needs you to be okay and your family needs you to be okay, so make yourself a priority, because you matter.”
For Jones, self-care is not a one-and-done situation either. She says, “This is really an ongoing struggle for me. As women, I think that we wear our resilience and our vision as a badge of honor. When we get crowded, we suffocate, and then we start breaking down. Our mental health, our energy, our ability to connect with our families and friends is at risk. At the end of the day, I want to make sure that I am moving as a creative based on purpose and not just chasing shiny objects, because you can.”
Delia prioritizes this stability, pursuing the idea of a more balanced, mindful, and sustainable approach to the “hustle”. She says, “Resting helps the body to repair, rest helps the mind to decompress, it helps your energy decompress. Clear thoughts come when the mind can be rested, and a rested mind is a very creative and very empowered mind.”
A Commitment to Every Business Owner
"I was incredibly honored to have participated alongside these inspirational founders to celebrate Black female entrepreneurs," said Rebecca Minkoff, co-founder of the Female Founder Collective. "These entrepreneurs' invaluable insights on business are what the world needs right now. Their perspectives and experiences will inspire anyone in business looking for a dose of honest and actionable advice!"
These inspirational Black female entrepreneurs remind all self-starters that they are worthy of self-care, self-empowerment, and success. Taking care of one’s mental health as well as one’s financial health is the best thing entrepreneurs can do for themselves, as well as uplift each other. Capital One Business is committed to uplifting the experiences of Black female business owners and sharing resources and expertise to help them in navigating their unique journeys.
About The Female Founder Collective
The Female Founder Collective (FFC) is a network of businesses led by women, supporting women. Co-founded by fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and Alison Wyatt, their mission is to enable and empower female-owned and led businesses to positively impact our communities, both socially and economically.