Two fascinating ideas emerged from an interview last week with Kathryn Finney.

First is the question of the narratives of economic value that dictate who gets paid, and for what, in the United States. Perpetual income and wealth gaps exist because many Americans have internalized a slavery narrative that Black people’s labor should be free, says Finney, who founded and recently left digital undivided, a social enterprise for Black and Latinx women founders.

It’s a provocative idea that is backed up by research that shows one reason women don’t advance in the workplace is that they don’t get credit for the favors they do for men. The men expect them, and therefore, don’t even notice when they happen. The other idea is related to the story of Finney’s Doonie Fund, which made $100 no-strings-attached investments in Black women entrepreneurs.

Believe in the power of small acts, Finney said. The small act of an IBM executive in Milwaukee who gave up six Saturdays to teach displaced factory workers C+++ changed her family’s life. Her father was one of the workers.

The definition of small depends a lot on the context. The acts that matter work in two ways: They change the mindset of the person who gives, because they involve some sacrifice, of time, or control, or power. And they reach the recipient with something of real value, whether it is emotional or physical. There’s a lot that needs doing right now. So, act. “I hope that’s what people learn from the Doonie Fund,” Finney said. “Not to overthink.”

 — Elizabeth MacBride, Editor, Times of Entrepreneurship

Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week

One Black Family’s Journey From From Tulsa To A Position Of Power In The Digital Economy

Kathryn Finney designed a new fund to give out no-strings-attached money to women founders.

Read the Story »

Google and Netflix Wake Up To The Value Of These Financial First Responders

But CDFIs, a key source of capital for small and minority-owned businesses, might need a lifeline themselves thanks to a possible increase in default rates and regulatory changes from the Trump Administration.
Read the Story »

Important Stories from Elsewhere

U.S. Says It Won’t Join Global Movement To Find COVID-19 Vaccine
The Trump administration says it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization.

N.B.A. Protest Shows Who Calls The Shots In A Superstar Economy
In sports leagues, entrepreneurship helps give people the economic agency to take controversial stands, but is this power reserved for only for the well-paid?

A Growing Movement Helps Startup Founders Find New Ways To Exit
A project out of the University of Colorado—Boulder is working to help startups transition to community ownership as an alternative to going public or becoming acquired.
This P&G Unit Helps Women-Led Startups Get Off The Ground
Procter & Gamble Ventures looks to lessen the gap in funding between male- and female-led businesses in a partnership with the Vinetta Project, which focuses on supporting female founders in particular. 

This Startup’s Product: Remote Coaching From Maria Sharapova, Michael Phelps, and Other Olympians
The Skills will offer master class-style courses by Olympians and pro athletes for people who are looking to improve their skills at one or several sports.

German Start-up Using Energy Management Tech To Receive Funding from EU Climate Initiative
Nine European startups–including AI-powered building systems venture Dabbel–are set to receive 4 million euros from an organization backed by the European Union. 

Delivery Fees Were Killing North Miami restaurants. Here’s How The City Is Helping
Amid the mandatory shutdown of restaurants in Miami-Dade County, the city of North Miami is offering to subsidize third-party delivery fees for restaurants in the area. Finds Success Treating Users Like Partners
A digital media startup in Spain became financially stable and rapidly popular through enlisting readers to become “partners” in the venture. Its unique approach to funding has allowed to it to garner trust in its readership that other leading outlets have lost.

New And Tougher Companies Emerge In The Pandemic
A fashion designer, moved by COVID-19 bread lines, brought all his production back to the United States. His move shows the evolving power of the creative economy.

Resource Of The Week: Right to Start Field Guide for Policymakers
This new report recommends policies needed at the federal, state and local levels to expand entrepreneurial opportunity.

You Might Have Missed
Want To Invest In A Post-Pandemic Boom?
FinTech startups in Massachusetts, Vermont and Indiana offer a chance to boost Main Street businesses while making a decent return.

Opinion: Does Onshoring Portend A New Wave of Manufacturing?
Evidence is emerging that there will be a need for a new generation of people trained on processes and advances in production.

Venture Capital Spotlight

VC Spotlight: True Wealth Ventures
Austin, Texas
What it is: Founded in 2015, True Wealth Ventures invests in women-led startups who have proven the ability to financially outperform, in high growth markets of sustainable consumer and consumer health and where women are making the vast majority of purchase decisions. The fund raised $19 million and plans to invest in Texas companies and throughout the United States. More than 80% of True Wealth Ventures’ limited partners are women.

Minimum Investment: Unknown

Leadership: Founded by Sara T. Brand and Kerry Rupp​,  both long-time financiers and entrepreneurs.

Investment style/track record: The firm makes seed-stage investments of $500,000 with follow-on investments. The fund seeks companies where the founders see an acquisition exit opportunity within 5 years at a valuation of $100 million or more. In 2018, the fund invested in  UnaliWear, a smartwatch for the senior population to guard against falls and other risks, and BrainCheck, a startup that exists as a cognitive testing platform to manage mental health.

Quote: “The fact that (women) are inherently focused on the impact likely makes for a more genuine connection to the solution, which could also lead to outperformance,” Rupp told Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer at SXSW.

Upcoming Events/Registration Deadlines

Boost with Facebook
Date: Starts Sept. 1 and culminates on Nov. 24 at hybrid online-offline event with participants in Amsterdam, Cairo and Silicon Valley
Application available here.
Startups Without Borders, a global platform for refugee and migrant entrepreneurs, has partnered with Facebook to launch a digital marketing training program. It aims to support 1,550 entrepreneurs and business owners who are recovering from the pandemic. It is open to business owners from the MENA region who have left their country of origin in search of a better life and have started a business initiative in the U.S. or Europe.

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Awards
Deadline: Sept. 7, 2020
Information available here.
The Chamber is taking nominations for Chamber of the Year, Hispanic Business Person of the Year, Corporation of the Year, Employee Resource Group of the Year and its Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. The awards program is part of the organization’s National Conference.
WomenCorporateDirectors 2020 Global Institute
Dates: Sept. 9-11
Location: Virtual
Information available here.
“Leading Today and Transforming Tomorrow” will feature keynotes by Madeline K. Albright, 64thSecretary of State of the U.S.; Paul Knopp, chair and CEO of KPMG; David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs; Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard and global economist Dr. Dambisa Moyo.

Bronze Valley Accelerator
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Deadline: Sept. 11
Information available here.
Bronze Valley Accelerator, newly directed by Haley Medved Kendrick, is accepting applications from startups from Alabama and the Southeast. Selected applicants will learn how to establish themselves to be potential applicants for full-time accelerators or seed investment. The accelerator focuses on supporting and entrepreneurs of color.

NEXT Venture Pitch
Sept. 15 – 17, 2020; 9 am to 1 pm daily
Location: Virtual
Information available here.
This gathering for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and students in the Carolinas features a pitch competition and speakers including Jeff Hoffman, chairman of the board of Global Entrepreneurship Network, and Jay Simmons. The conference is produced in partnership with Clemson University.
(The application deadline to pitch was August 21, 2020).
 Leadership for a Changing World Summit
Sept. 15-22, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here
Twenty leadership innovators will discuss why leadership approaches rooted in service, authenticity and inclusion will replace command-and-control models. Speakers include author Ken Blanchard, poet/activist Sonya Renee Taylor and Judy Samuelsen, founder and executive director of the Aspen Business & Society Program.

Urban Tech Connect/Forward 2020
Date: Sept. 15-17, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information is available here.
Urban Tech Connect is the third annual tech conference hosted by Plug In South LA. The three-day event will equip tech company founders from the African American and LatinX communities in Los Angeles and beyond with the knowledge and expertise to build competitive and successful tech enterprises and platforms. The conference also is focused on helping founders push forward in scaling and growing their businesses amidst the challenges caused by COVID-19.
SME Week Youth Essay Competition
Deadline: Sept. 18
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

Make your voice heard in an essay that addresses what SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges–and how EU policy can best aid entrepreneurs. The competition is open to 18-25-year-olds from EU and COSME countries. 

Launch Clinic with Edtech Startups
September 21, 5-6:30 pm
Information available here.
At this virtual event, startups can get constructive feedback from a board-of-directors level panel of experts. 

Sept. 22-23
Location: Virtual
Information available here
This event is part of a social impact driven movement to fill a void in the entrepreneurial space by amplifying the voices of BIPOC, womxn and nonbinary entrepreneurs and allies. At least 10% of net proceeds from ticket sales will go to charity partner Annie Cannons, a nonprofit that provides training to survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence.

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Conference
Date: September 27 to 29
Information available here 

The 2020 conference, focused on Hispanic economic development, is among the largest gatherings of Hispanic business leaders in the U.S. This year’s conference will be held virtually for the first time. 

Start Smart Class
Fall 2020 starts on September 28
Information available here.
This hands-on class, aimed at entrepreneurs who are serious about launching a startup, is focused on helping them build a solid understanding of their target market so they can grow a science/technology company successfully.

Follow the Entrepreneur (FTE) Investment Campaign and Summit
Dates: Oct. 10-14
Location: Athens, Greece (event will also be live streamed)
Information available here.
VIVA Investment Partners, a Swiss private equity firm, is hosting this gathering, where entrepreneurs will come together with leading global investors to build relationships and identify opportunities to collaborate. 

SOCAP Virtual: A Global Impact Summit 
Location: Virtual
Dates: October 19-23
Information available here.
This gathering of global change-makers aims to address the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. 
Young Entrepreneur Convention
Location: Ames, Ohio
Deadline: October 24, 2020
Information available here.

The theme is “founders helping founders” at this one-day event, aimed at business owners in their teens and twenties, at Iowa State University.

Sight Tech Global
This virtual conference is dedicated to fostering discussion among technology pioneers about how rapid advances in AI and related technologies will create a more accessible world for people with blindness and visual impairments. 
Date: Dec. 2-3, 2020. Registration is free and opening soon. 
Information available here

Rolling deadlines

COVID-19 Coalition
Location: Virtual
Deadline: Rolling
Information available here.

Businesses that are contributing solutions to the coronavirus epidemic can apply for funding through this coalition.

Private Financing Advisory Network
Deadline: Rolling
Information available here.
The network is soliciting applications from businesses that deliver climate change adaptation or clean energy innovation to their communities.

The Nest: Connecting frontier market experts with global angel investors
Every Thursday, 1 pm ET
Information available here.
Entrepreneurs can pitch via a 30-60 second video sent via WhatsApp. Three entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in each week’s Zoom video conference of The Nest.

USAID Development Innovation Ventures
Location: Virtual
Deadline: Rolling, in any country where USAID operates
Information available here.

This program, which tests and scales creative solutions to global development challenges, offers funding for proof of concept (up to $200,000), testing and positioning to scale ($200,000 to $1.5 million) and scaling ($1.5 million to $5 million). Also available: evidence grants up to $1.5 million to support research and evaluations that generate “rigorous evidence of an innovation impact per dollar and potential for expansion.”

– Compiled by Elaine Pofeldt 

This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit and connect with and

A business journalist for 20 years, am the founder of Times of Entrepreneurship and the co-author of The New Builders.