Giving Compass' Take:

• An event hosted by Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) Collaborative and Food Funded discussed the barriers for Black investors to support Black food businesses. 

• One of the most significant challenges for Black businesses to secure investments is spending too much time proving their capabilities. How can investors help share and redistribute wealth so Black businesses can thrive? What can donors do to contribute to power-building in Black communities? 

• Read more about the impact of community power-building movements. 

Black leaders in food and finance spoke on the challenges Black entrepreneurs face at a discussion organized by the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) Collaborative and Food Funded. The event,  “All Checks on Deck for Racial Equality,” emphasized the need to create a regenerative economy that amplifies Black voices.

The event was divided into three conversations. Kelly Carlisle of Acta Non Verba and Common Future’s Rodney Foxworth began with an overview of systemic oppression. A discussion on Black entrepreneurship, moderated by Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen, featured entrepreneurs Kai Nortey of Kube Nice Cream and Chef GW Chew of Something Better Foods. And Leslie Lindo of Candide Group, Tiffany Brown from Chordata Capital, and Jenna Nicholas from Impact Experience & Illumen Capital spoke on investor strategy tools.

“Wealth and power go hand in hand,” says Foxworth. “What [Common Future] tries to do is recognize that what there really is, is a power gap, there’s not an intellectual gap or a talent gap. One of the things we talk about when shifting capital is doing it in a way that enables greater power building for communities.”

The panelists agree, but report that it is difficult for Black organizations or companies to accumulate this wealth, when they must regularly prove their capabilities in business. According to a study by Kauffman Foundation, Black entrepreneurs are the most reliant on personal credit to fund new business endeavors compared to their white counterparts.

“People of color, Black, and Indigneous folks, we lose so much time and money constantly proving our worth to those with power,” says Holland. “We don’t get the investment to increase capacity or infrastructure until we prove that we can do the work without the investment and capital infrastructure.”

Read the full article about investing in Black food businesses by Sabrina Endicott at Food Tank.