In this article by Black business insider theGrio, Nude Barre founder Erin Carpenter is interviewed about her transition from professional dancer to burgeoning entrepreneur. Writer Danielle James details Carpenter’s journey from a $3,000 savings to a $1.4 million investment from tennis star Serena Williams. From selling tights one by one to friends and family, to sending products to her favorite celebrities, Carpenter hustled until her star-studded endorsements boosted her momentum in the investment community. Carpenter’s tenacity is admirable, but her grind to get funding highlights the discrepancy between what black women in entrepreneurial spaces are being given by investors, and the role they are playing in the start-up business community. James cites a Digital Undivided 2018 report that found “Only .06% of all venture funding has gone to Black women since 2009, despite this demographic being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs.” Acknowledging this disparity, Carpenter offers aspiring black business owners some valuable advice, one being to join accelerators early in the fundraising process to maximize traction. LAUNCH, an accelerator created by angel investor Jason Calcanis has taken Nude Barre to the next level. With this funding boost and some skin in the game, Carpenter aims to continue decreasing the physical and emotional labor Black women face when customizing products to their specific needs.
Click here to read more of Carpenter’s small business insights on theGrio.