Instant Karma Newsletter 8.20.20
  • Many Black entrepreneurs still lack access to capital and those that managed to launch their own businesses have been disproportionately hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Two months since Black Lives Matter protests triggered a national moment of reckoning, Black entrepreneurs are still looking for something they needed long before George Floyd’s murder: access to capital.

Take New York City, where Black people make up 22% of the population. Yet, as the city’s small business development office discovered, only 2% of businesses in the five boroughs are Black-owned. Capital access was cited by those entrepreneurs as their primary barrier. 

These statistics mirror the rest of the country, where 41% of Black-owned businesses closed due to the pandemic, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses. Because of the racial wealth gap, it’s up to (mostly white and male) investors to change this dynamic, and they’ve got plenty of reasons to do it and blueprints to work with. 

As we heard from the Black entrepreneurs we spoke with for our What’s Next series the message is clear: “Write the check.” 

In Other News: ‘Climate Donors,’ Scotland Spaceport

Are investors glass-half-full to the point of concern? “Climate donors” are trying to counter the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists and PACs. Scotland approved plans to build the country’s first spaceport at the behest of a startup looking to develop the U.K.’s first reusable orbital launch vehicle. A health tech startup is getting a fundraising boost from the pandemic. “Batman” is delivering food to Santiago’s homeless. What does water access have to do with impact investing and the pandemic?

Levity Break

Make your own artwork out of stock charts!