Sheletta Brundidge, the creator of ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com, recently bought billboard ads for five Black women entrepreneurs to commemorate Black Business Month. Brundidge shared that she is doing this to support the expansion of Black women-owned companies, which have historically had difficulty obtaining venture funding, according to Twin Cities Business.
According to data, Black entrepreneurs typically receive less than 2% of all VC dollars each year while companies led by Black women receive less than 1%.
“It’s not just to help them, but also to show other people that we’re worth the investment—to show other people what it looks like to support Black women in business—because if we don’t do it, nobody else will,” Brundidge stated.
The media celebrity invested $15,000 in the billboards, highlighting local businesses for two weeks. The ads for the Black women entrepreneurs appear near the U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Soul Grain Granola Company’s founders, Sylvia Williams and Liza Maya, were shocked to see themselves featured in the scrolling advertisements in downtown Minneapolis. Williams, a pastry chef, and Maya a nutritionist, expressed their appreciation for the exposure.
“I mean, we’re going to take over the world now, But honestly, we’re trying to grow strategically and expand our presence to hopefully become a household name,” Maya said as she faced the billboard.
The billboards also featured De’Vonna Pittman, the founder of the hair and skin care company Nature’s Syrup; Rosline Friedrich, the founder of Rosline’s Candles; Chaz Sandifer-Lakeview of Lakeview Terrace Farmer’s Market; and Tameka Jones and her team, who are the creators of the cosmetic brand Lip Esteem. There is also a rotating advertisement for Brundidge.
Brundidge cited Randy Moss, a former wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, as her company’s motivation for this year’s investment in female entrepreneurs. According to her, she was motivated to invest after reading his story.
Moss just teamed up with Brittany Tolliferreo, founder of Chick-A-Boom, a business serving chicken and waffles in southwest Philadelphia, and will now serve as the organization’s chief brand ambassador.
Brundidge also highlighted that Black-owned enterprises should receive support from the broader community because they are not just for Black people.