A Global Spotlight on Entrepreneurship + Do Good CLT

A Global Spotlight on Entrepreneurship + Do Good CLT


This year, November was proclaimed, National Entrepreneurship Month by President Biden. And this week is Global Entrepreneurship Week. During GEW, Innovate Charlotte and the city of Charlotte are hosting the Queen City’s GEW this year, with the theme of “Entrepreneurs Thrive Here.” Back in 2015, I went to Curacao and spoke and conducted a workshop at their inaugural celebration of GEW, and I dug up this video of my answers to several questions I was asked during my trip –  Henry Rock rocks GEW Curacao 2015 – YouTube.

As Biden states, “we honor the job creators, business owners, and daring innovators who remind us of the promise of the American Dream” – we want to also highlight the following: Crunchbase data shows that in Q4 2022, Black startup founders in the United States raised around $264 million out of the total $33.6 billion in venture capital allocated. That’s an uptick from the $178 million — or 0.43% — the group raised in Q3.

In total, U.S. Black founders raised an estimated $2.254 billion out of the $215.9 billion in U.S. venture capital allocated last year. Which was about 1%, a slight drop from the 1.3% raised in 2021. Despite the record-breaking 2021, that amount of money equates to just 1.3% of all capital raised in the U.S. alone. It’s not all bad news, though: Although funding dipped in the early half of 2022, it steadily increased from $191 million in Q3 to $279 million in Q4, jumping again to $312 million in the first quarter of this year.

However, a recent dataset shows that in Q1 2023, Black founders raised an estimated 0.69%, or $312 million, out of the around $45 billion Crunchbase totaled for the quarter. Per Crunchbase numbers, Black founders saw a decrease in year-over-year funding from Q1 2022, when Black founders raised 1.5% — or $1.26 billion — out of the $81 billion allocated in private funding. That’s a 75.2% drop in funding! What happened?

Yet, attempts at correcting these incessant challenges in funding are often thwarted by policies such as that faced by the Fearless Fund, a Black woman owned venture capital firm.

Nevertheless, throughout the year, City Startup Labs has shed light on alternatives to venture capital with our Fundable Workshop Series. We’re wrapping up National Entrepreneurship Month with the final installment on Crowdfunding. Join us virtually on November 29th at 6 pm. This series has been sponsored by the NC Idea Foundation

Past Fundable workshops covered crafting the perfect pitch, acquiring angel investors and applying for SBIR grants.  Find these sessions are archived our Youtube channel.

Meanwhile our latest Restorative Pathways cohort is off to a great start!  Last week, Traletta Banks from Another Level Staffing LLC. stopped by to train our participants in how to build an effective resume. They’ll be wrapping up on December 1st. Make sure to follow us on social media and keep your eyes on this space for updates on how they’re doing. 

City Startup Labs was featured for #SpotlightonCLT with Share Charlotte…

…as well as the Do Good CLT Podcast this month. REEP Program Director, Travis Williams and current REEP participant, Renea Watts-Wells stopped by to chat with host Pamela Escobar. Take a listen!

With Gratitude ~

Henry Rock, Founder & Executive Director City Startup Labs

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